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Harvey Cushing / John Hay Whitney 


Yale University 

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LIFE. «- 

, M. D., 


Member of the British and American Associations for the Advancement of Science, 

American Public Health Association, American Society of Microscopista, 

American Social Science Association, Society Fran caise D' Hygiene, 

State Board of Health of Michigan, Editor of "Good Health," 

Author of "The Home Hand-Bookof Domestic Hygien* 

and Rational Medicine," and Various Other Works. 


1. F. SEGNER, 




Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1886 ; 

By J. H. KELLOGG, M. D., 

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington, 

All Rigtits Reserved. 


fHE author of this work offers no apology for pre- 
senting it to the reading public, since the wide prev- 
*W alence of the evils which it exposes is sufficient war- 
rant for its publication. The subjects with which it deals 
are of vital consequence to the human race ; and it is of 
the utmost importance that every effort should be made 
to dispel the gross ignorance which almost universally 
prevails, by the wide diffusion, in a proper manner, of in- 
formation of the character contained in this volume. 

This book has been written, not for the young only, nor 
for any single class of persons, but for all who are capable 
of understanding and appreciating it. The prime object 
of its preparation has been to call attention to the great 
prevalence of sexual excesses of all kinds, and the heinous 
crimes resulting from some forms of sexual transgression, 
and to point out the terrible results which inevitably fol- 
low the violation of sexual law. 

In order to make more clear and comprehensible the 
teachings of nature respecting the laws regulating the sex- 
ual function, and the evils resulting from their violation, it 
has seemed necessary to preface the practical part of the 
subject by a concise description of the anatomy and phys- 
iology of reproduction. In this portion of the work, es- 
pecial pains has been taken to avoid anything like indeli- 
cacy of expression, yet it has not been deemed advisable 
to sacrifice perspicuity of ideas to any prudish notions of 
modesty. It is hoped that the reader will bear in mind 
that the language of science is always chaste in itself, and 



that it is only through a corrupt imagination that it be- 
comes invested with impurity. The author has constantly 
endeavored to impart information in the most straight- 
forward, simple, and concise manner. 

The work should be judiciously circulated, and to secure 
this the publishers will take care to place it in the hands 
of agents competent to introduce it with discretion; yet 
it may be read without injury by any one who is suffi- 
ciently mature to understand it. Great care has been 
taken to exclude from its pages those accounts of the hab- 
its of vicious persons, and descriptions of the mechanical 
accessories of vice, with which many works upon sexual 
subjects abound. 

The first editions of the work were issued with no little 
anxiety on the part of both author and publishers as to 
how it would be received by the reading public. It was 
anticipated that no little adverse criticism, and perhaps 
severe condemnation, would be pronounced by many 
whose education and general mode of thought had not 
been such as to prepare them to appreciate it ; but it was 
hoped that persons of more thoughtful and unbiased minds 
would receive the work kindly, and would readily co- 
operate with the publishers in its circulation. This antic- 
ipation has been more than realized. Wherever the book 
has been introduced, it has met with a warm reception ; 
and of the many thousand persons into whose hands the 
work has been placed, hundreds have gratefully acknowl- 
edged the benefit which they have received from its peru- 
sal, and it is hoped that a large proportion have been 
greatly benefited. 

The cordial reception which the work has met from the 
press everywhere, has undoubtedly contributed in a great 
measure to its popularity. The demand for the work has 
exhausted numerous editions in rapid succession, and has 
seemed to require its preparation in the greatly enlarged 
and in every way improved form in which it now appears. 


The addition of two whole chapters for the purpose of 
bringing the subject directly before the minds of boys and 
girls in a proper manner, adds greatly to the interest and 
value of the work, as there seemed to be a slight deficiency 
in this particular in the former editions. 

Battle Creek, Mich., ) 
October, 187Q. f 

J. H. K. 


p|lNCE the preceding paragraphs were written, nearly 
one hundred thousand copies of this work have been 
placed in the hands of interested readers in various 
parts of the United States. One large edition has followed 
another with such rapidity that the copper plates from 
which it was printed have become considerably worn, and 
for some time both author and publisher have been anxious 
to put the work in a more satisfactory form. Within the 
last few months, the author has been enabled to carefully 
revise the book, and make it ready for the new edition. 
All who have been previously acquainted with the work, 
will recognize a very great improvement over previous 
editions. The book has been entirely reset in beautiful, 
clear, and legible type ; the page has been increased in 
size ; the somewhat antiquated border has been dispensed 
with ; many portions have been rewritten, and a large 
amount of new matter added, including not only additions 
to nearly every subject treated, but several entirely new 
chapters, which it is believed will greatly enhance the value 
of the work. 

viii PREFACE. 

Both the author and the publisher desire to express to 
the great reading public their sincere thanks for the gen- 
erous support which has been accorded their efforts in behalf 
of popular education upon a subject so universally ignored 
and tabooed. The wall of prejudice, which in the early 
years of the introduction of the work, threatened to pre- 
sent a serious obstacle to its usefulness, has been gradually 
broken down, and there is evidence among the more intel- 
ligent class of people of an increasing sentiment favoring 
the frank and open consideration of the subjects presented 
in this work. 

The author also desires to express his thanks, and his 
feeling of deep obligation to the hundreds of clergymen, 
physicians, philanthropists, and other noble-minded men 
and women who have faithfully seconded his efforts to fore- 
stall vice by tearing off the flimsy gauze of secrecy, under 
which it has so long sought to hide its hideous deformities. 
Tens of thousands of noble youth of both sexes have, 
through the kindly and unselfish aid of enlightened cler- 
gymen, physicians, and teachers, been reached, who oth- 
erwise would have come to years of maturity with the 
same ignorance of natural laws, and the same false con- 
ceptions which have for ages been the most powerful allies 
of vice and crime. 

The work in its present form is presented to a discrim- 
inating public with the sincere desire that its usefulness 
may be still further increased, and that it may continue to 
receive the encouragement and support so generously ac- 
corded in the past. 

J. H. K. 

Battle Creek, Mich., I 
Dec. 8, 1885. \ 




Objections considered — Is knowledge dangerous ? — 
When shall information be given ? — How to im- 
part proper knowledge — Eminent testimony. 21-32 

Sex in Liyiug Forms. 

Living beings — Microscopic life — Animals and vege- 
tables — Protoplasm — Life force — Life and or- 
ganization — Life force a mystery 33-38 


Reproduction common to all living things — Sponta- 
neous generation — Germs — Origin of life — Simplest 
form of generation — Low forms of life — Sex — 
Hermaphrodism — Sex in plants — Sex ii? animals 
— Other sexual differences — Men and women dif- 
fer in form — The male and the female brain — Vi- 
tal organs of man and woman — Woman less mus- 
cular, more enduring — A pathological difference 
— Why a woman does not breathe like a man — 

The reproductive elements — Sexual organs of 



plants — Vegetable husbands — Polygamous flowers 
— The female organs of flowers — Sexual organs of 
animals — The spermatozoon — Spermatozoa — The 
ovum — Ovulation — Fecundation — Fecundation 
in flowers — Natural adaptations — Curious modes 
of fecundation in animals — Union of the ovum and 
zoosperm — Curious modes of reproduction — Par- 
thenogenesis — Human beings are developed buds 
— Complemental males — Development — Unpro- 
tected development — Partial protection of the 
ovum — Development in the higher animals and 
man — The uterus — Gestation, o«r pregnancy — The 
primitive trace — Curious relation to lower ani- 
mals — Simplicity of early structures — The stages 
of growth — Duration of gestation — Uterine life — 
How the unborn infant breathes — Parturition, or 
childbirth — Changes in the child at birth — Nurs- 
ing 39-78 


Male organs — The prostate gland — Female organs — 
Puberty — Causes which delay puberty — Influence 
of diet on puberty — A caution — Brunettes preco- . 
cious — Remarkable precocity — Premature devel- 
opment occasions early decay — Early puberty a 
cause for anxiety — Changes which occur at pu- 
berty — Menstruation — Nature of menstruation — 
Extra-uterine pregnancy — Twins — Superfetation 
— Monsters — Strange freaks of development — 
Hybrids — Law of Sex — Controlling sex — Hered- 
ity — Pangenesis — Gemmules — Circumcision — 
Castration — Spaying 79-108 


Sexual Hygiene. 

Sexual precocity — Astonishing ignorance — Premature 
passion — Inherited passion — Various causes of 
sexual precocity — Senile sensuality — Satyriasis. _ 


Time to marry — Application of the law of heredity — 
Early marriage — Mutual adaptation — A danger- 
ous doctrine — Disparity of age — A domestic purga- 
tory — Courtship — Courtship in France — A Jew- 
ish custom — An immoral custom — Prevailing cus- 
toms of evil tendency — Long courtships — Advice 
about getting married — Flirtation — Youthful flir- 
tations — Polygamy — A defense of polygamy — 
Arguments of polygamists answered — Polyandry 
— Queer family arrangements — Divorce — Who 
may not marry — Physical influence of mar- 
riage — Diseased persons should not marry — 
Should cousins marry ? — Deformed persons 
should not marry — Criminals should not marry 
— Inter-marriage of races not advisable — Improv- 
ident persons should not marry — Reformed 
rakes 117-157 


Continence not injurious — Continence does not pro- 
duce impotence — A hint from lower animals — 
Difficulty of continence — Helps to continence — 
The will — Diet — Exercise — Bathing — Relig- 
ion 158-168 



Mental unchastity — Mental uncleanness — Amative- 
ness — Filthy dreams — Unchaste conversation — 
Foul gossip — Causes of unchastity — Libidinous 
blood — Early causes — Diet versus chastity — Cler- 
ical lapses — Tobacco and vice — Obscene books — 
The work of Mr. Comstock — Sentimental litera- 
ture — "Religious novels" — A modern plague — 
Idleness — Dress and sensuality — How young 
women fall — Fashion and vice — Reform in dress 
needed — Fashionable dissipation — The influence 
of luxury — Round dances — A woman's view of 
dancing — Physical causes of unchastity — Consti- 
pation — Intestinal worms — Local uncleanliness — 
Irritation of the bladder — Leucorrhcea — Modern 
modes of life — Nervous Irritability 169- 198 


Unchastity in ancient times — Egyptian vice — Religious 
debaucheries in Phoenicia — Prostitution in repute 
in Greece — Caligula, Messalina, Vitellius, Nero, 
— State of modern society — Pall Mall Gazette ex- 
posures — " The maiden tribute of modern Bab- 
ylon" — Responsibility of mothers — Causes of the 
social evil — Precocious sexuality — Man's lewd- 
ness — Fashion — Lack of early training — Poverty 
— Ignorance — Disease — Nymphomania — Results 
of licentiousness — Thousands of victims — Effects 
of vice ineradicable — The only hope — Hereditary 
effects of venereal disease — Origin of the foul 
disease — Cure of the social evil — Prevention the 


only cure — Early training — The White Cross 
Army — Teach self-control — Mental culture — 
Early associations 199-230 


Alarming" prevalence of the vice — Testimony of emi- 
nent authors — Not a modern vice — Victims of all 
ages — Unsuspected rottenness — Causes of the 
habit — Evil associations — Corruption in schools 
— Wicked nurses — Not an uncommon case — The 
instructor in vice — Local disease — An illustrative 
case — Other physical causes — Influence of stimu- 
lants — Scythians — Sexual perversion — Signs of 
self-abuse — Suspicious signs — General debility — 
Early symptoms of consumption — Premature and 
defective development — Sudden change of disposi- 
tion — Lassitude — Dullness — Sleeplessness — Fail- 
ure of mental capacity — Fickleness — Untrust- 
worthiness — Love of solitude — Bashfulness — Un- 
natural boldness — Mock piety — Timidity — Con- 
fusion of ideas — Round shoulders — Weak back — 
Paralysis — Gait — Bad positions — Deficient devel- 
opment — Capricious appetite — Perverted appe- 
tite — Use of tobacco — Palor — Pimples — Biting 
finger nails — Lusterless eyes — Moist, cold hands 
— Palpitation — Hysteria — Chlorosis — Epilepsy — 
Enuresis — Positive signs 231-261 


Effects in males — Local effects — Urethral irritation 
— Stricture — Enlarged prostate — Urinary dis- 
eases — Priapism — Piles — Hypospadias — Exten- 
sion of irritation — Wasting of the testes — Varico- 


cele — Nocturnal emissions — Exciting causes — 
Are occasional emissions necessary or harmless ? 
— Emissions not necessary to health — Eminent 
testimony — Diurnal emissions — Causes of diurnal 
emissions — Internal emissions — An important 
caution — Spermatorrhoea — Impotence — General 
effects — General debility — Consumption — Dys- 
pepsia — Heart disease — Throat affections — Nerv- 
ous diseases — Epilepsy — Failure of special senses 
— Spinal irritation — Insanity — Idiocy — A victim's 
mental condition pictured — Effects in females — 
Local effects — Leucorrhcea — Uterine disease — 
Displacements of the womb — Sterility — Atrophy 
of mammae — Pruritis, or itching genitals — Noc- 
turnal ejaculation in females — General effects — 
Spinal irritation — A common cause of hysteria — 
Effects upon offspring — Neglect dangerous __ 262-289 


Prevention of secret vice — Cultivate chastity — Timely 
warning — Early instruction — A dark picture — 
Curative treatment of the effects of self-abuse — 
Cure of the habit — Cure of the habit in children 
— Cure of the habit in adults — A curative oper- 
ation — How may a person help himself? — Hopeful 
courage — General regimen and treatment — Men- 
tal and moral treatment — Control of the thoughts 
— Exercise — Diet — Sleeping — Dreams — Can 
dreams be controlled ? — Bathing — Improvement 
of general health — Prostitution as a remedy — 
Marriage — Local treatment — The warm sitz bath 
— The ascending douche — The abdominal band- 


age — The wet compress — Hot and cold applica- 
tions to the spine — Local fomentations — Local 
cold bathing — The enema — Electricity — Internal 
applications — Use of electricity — Circumcision — 
Impotence — Varicocele — Treatment of the disease 
in women — Drugs, rings, etc. — Quacks — Closing 
advice 290-327 

A Chapter for Boys. 

Genuine boys — Human mushrooms — " What are boys 
for " ? — Boys the hope of the world — Man, the mas- 
terpiece — How a noble character is formed — How 
a noble character is ruined — A wonderful machine 
— What the microscope reveals — The nutritive ap- 
paratus — The moving apparatus — The thinking 
and feeling apparatus — The purifying apparatus 
— The reproductive apparatus — The down-hill 
road — Self-abuse — A dreadful sin — Self-murder- 
ers — What makes boys dwarfs — Scrawny, hollow- 
eyed boys — Old boys — What makes idiots — Young 
dyspeptics — A cause of consumption — The race 
ruined by boys — Cases illustrating the effects of 
self-abuse — Two young wrecks — A prodigal youth 
— Barely escaped — A lost soul — The results of one 
transgression — A hospital case — An old offender 
— The sad end of a young victim — From bad to 
worse — An indignant father — Disgusted with life 
— Bad company — Bad language — Bad books — 
Vile pictures — Evil thoughts — Influence of other 
bad habits — Liquor and tobacco — Bad diet — Clos- 
ing advice to boys and young men 328-374 


A Chapter eor Young Men. 

Pure manners — Irreligion — Wrong ideas about women 
— Sowing wild oats — Getting married — Self-prep- 
aration — Caution — Avoid a devotee of fashion — 
The young husband 375-383 

A Short Chapter for Old Mm. 

The period of decline — Moderation required — Econo- 
mizing of vitality — A dangerous waste — Extreme 
disparity of ages — Exhaustive effects of the sex- 
ual act — Found dead — Repugnant to nature — A 
somber perspective — Children of old men — Senile 
lovelaces — Cicero on old age — Love in old age — 
Brutish lasciviousness — Nature's punishment — 
The career of a debauchee — Human satyrs — A 
case in point 384-394 

A Chapter for Girls. 

Girlhood — How to develop beauty and loveliness — 
The human form divine — A wonderful process — 
Human buds — How beauty is marred — A beauty- 
destroying vice — Terrible effects of secret vice — 
The cause of break-downs — " The little health 
of women " — Remote effects — Causes which lead 
girls astray — Vicious companions — Whom to 
avoid — Sentimental books — Novel - reading — 
Various causes — Modesty woman's safeguard 
— A few sad cases — A pitiful case — A mind de- 


throned — A penitent victim — A ruined girl — 
Danger in boarding-schools — A desperate case — 
A last word 395-421 


The men and women of the next generation — Asso- 
ciation of the sexes proper — Responsibility of 
parents and teachers — " Small talk " — The true 
boy a gentleman everywhere — The true girl a 
lady at home — " Have the heart right, and then 
act natural " 422-424 

A Chapter for Young Women. 

Puberty — Symptoms of puberty — Hygiene of puberty 
— A critical period — Important hints — Evils of 
excitement — Improper occupations — Custom of 
Indian women — Criminal carelessness — Reckless- 
ness—Regularity of habits — Advice of Boerhaave 
— Tight-lacing — Other perils — Bad social cus- 
toms — "Fast girls" — Improper liberties — Getting 
a husband — On old maids — An "incumbrance" 
— Personal worth — Maidenly reserve 425-438 

Chapter wk Wiyes and Mothers. 

How to treat a husband — Wives' rights — The young 
mother — Pregnancy — Signs of pregnancy — Quick- 
ening — Leucorrhcea — The curse removed — Im- 
portant suggestions — A Hayti mother — Ante-na- 
tal influences — Law universal — A source of crime 
— A bad family — The "Juke" family — A physio- 

xviii CONTENTS. 

logical fact — Something for parents to consider — 
The origin of evil — How to beget sound children 

Hygiene for Women in Advanced Life. 

Change of life — When the change occurs — Physical 
changes — Nervousness — Flushings — Perspirations 
— Night sweats — Morbid growths — Tumors of the 
womb — Cancer — Lacerations — Urethral inflam- 
mations — Hygiene of the menopause — -Cause of 
suffering at the menopause — How to prevent suf- 
fering 453-456 

A Chapter for Married People. 

Object of the reproductive functions — The sexual 
function in lower animals — Periodical reproduc- 
tion — A lesson from instinct — Summary of im- 
portant facts — A hint from nature — Some valua- 
ble opinions — Results of excesses — Effects upon 
husbands — Consequences of excess — Continence 
of athletes — Cause of throat disease — A cause of 
consumption — Prostatic troubles — Effect on wives 
— An illustrative case — Something for husbands 
to consider — The greatest cause of uterine disease 
— Legalized murder — Accidental pregnancies — 
Indulgence during menstruation — Effects upon 
offspring — Indulgence during pregnancy — Effect 
upon the character — Other limitations — A selfish 
objection — Brutes and savages more considerate — 
What may be done ? — Early Moderation — Preven- 


tion of conception — Conjugal Onanism — "Male 
continence " — Shaker views — The Oneida commu- 
nity — Moral bearings of the question — Unconsid- 
ered — murders — The charge disputed — Difficul- 
ties — Woman's rights — What to do — A compro- 
mise 457-506 


Not a modern crime — Causes of the crime — The na- 
ture of the crime — Instruments of crime — Results 
of this unnatural crime — An unwelcome child — 
The remedy — Murder by proxy 507-521 

Diseases Peculiar to Women. 

Causes of disease among women — Carelessness at men- 
struation — Sexual sins — Neglect of the bowels — 
Drugging and doctoring — Errors in dress — A mud- 
dled professor — Diseases of women — General sug- 
gestions — Leucorrhcea, or whites — Vaginitis — 
Vaginismus — Uterine catarrh — Inflammation of 
the womb — -Ulceration of the womb — Amenor- 
rhcea, or suppressed menstruation— Scanty men- 
struation — Menorrhagia — Hemorrhage from the 
womb — Dysmenorrhea — Ovarian irritation — In- 
flammation of the ovaries — Cellulitis — Prolapsus, 
or falling of the womb — Pessaries, or supporters — 
Other forms of displacement — Prolapsus of the 
ovaries — Rectocele — Cystocele, or prolapsus of the 
bladder — Sterility — Nymphomania — Hysterical 
breast — Painful sitting — Dyspareunia, or painful 
connection — Urethral tumors — Bladder disorders 
— Constipation — Chlorosis, or green sickness — 


Lacerations at childbirth — Vesico- and recto- 
vaginal fistula — Tumors of the womb — Cancer of 
the womb — Deficient development of the womb 
and ovaries — Ovarian tumor — Stricture of the neck 
of the womb — Floating- tumor — Relaxed abdomen 
— Imperforate hymen — Tumor of the breast — - 
Cancer of the breast — Hysteria __ 522-55G 

Diseases Peculiar to Men. 

Spermatorrhoea — False spermatorrhoea — Seminal 
weakness, or nocturnal losses — Diurnal losses — 
Diseased prostate — Stricture — Balanitis — Vene- 
real warts — Phimosis — Paraphimosis — Hydrocele 
— -Varicocele — Impotence — Sterility — Gonorrhoea 
— Chancroid — Syphilis 557-592 

General Health Hints. 

Hygiene of the muscles — Spring biliousness — The to- 
bacco bondage — A healthy smell — Clothing of 
children — Capnizomania — Popular medical educa- 
tion — Depraved appetites — Hygiene of old age — 
Mouth-breathing — Coffee and dyspepsia — About 
water filters — Barricading against fresh air _ 593-622 


Health is wealth — Air bathing — Function of pain — 
Test for impure water — How to purify the blood 
— An error about running water — Damp beds — 
Tea and temper — Physical culture — Disposal of 
garbage, etc. 623-636 

INDEX 637-644 


mOOKS almost without number have been written 
|fl upon the subject treated in this work. Unfortu- 
&" nately, most of these works are utterly unreliable, 
being filled with gross misrepresentations and ex- 
aggerations, and being designed as advertising mediums 
for ignorant and unscrupulous charlatans, or worse than 
worthless patent nostrums. To add to their power for 
evil, many of them abound with pictorial illustrations 
which are in no way conducive to virtue or morality, 
but rather stimulate the animal propensities, and excite 
lewd imaginations. Books of this character are usually 
widely circulated ; and their pernicious influence is fully 
as great as that of works of a more grossly obscene 
character. In most of the few instances in which the 
evident motive of the author or publisher is not of an 
unworthy character, the manner of presenting the sub- 
ject is unfortunately such that it more frequently than 
otherwise has a strong tendency in a direction exactly 
the opposite of that intended and desired. The writer 
of this work has endeavored to avoid the latter evil by 
adopting a style of presentation quite different from that 
generally pursued. Instead of restricting the reader's at- 
tention rigidly to the sexual function in man, his mind 
is diverted by frequent references to corresponding func- 
tions in lower animals and in the vegetable kingdom. 



By this means, not only is additional information im- 
parted, but the sexual function in man is divested of its 
sensuality. It is viewed as a fact of natural history, 
and is associated with the innocence of animal life and 
the chaste loveliness of flowers. Thus the subject comes 
to be regarded from a purely physiological standpoint, 
and is liberated from that association with grossness 
which is the active cause of sensuality. 

There are so many well-meaning individuals who 
object to the agitation of this subject in any manner 
whatever, that it may be profitable to consider in this 
connection some of the principal objections which are 
urged against imparting information on sexual subjects, 
especially against giving knowledge to the young. 

JSexual matters improper to be spoken of to the young. 

This objection is often raised, it being urged that 
these matters are too delicate to be even suggested to 
children ; that they ought to be kept in total ignorance 
of all sexual matters and relations. It is doubtless true 
that children raised in a perfectly natural way would 
have no sexual thoughts during the earlier years of life, 
and it would be better if it might be so ; but from facts 
pointed out in succeeding portions of this work, it is 
certain that at the present time, children nearly always 
do have some ideas of sexual relations long before 
puberty, and often at a very early age. It is thus ap- 
parent that in speaking to children of sexual matters, in 
a proper manner, a new subject is not introduced to 
them, but it is merely presenting to them in a true light 
a subject of which they already have vague ideas ; and 
thus, by satisfying a natural curiosity, they are saved 


from supplying, by their imaginations, distorted images 
and exaggerated conceptions, and from seeking to obtain 
the desired information from evil sources whence they 
would derive untold injury. 

What reason is there that the subject of the sexual 
functions should be treated with such maudlin secrecy ? 
Why should the function of generation be regarded as 
something low and beastly, unfit to be spoken of by 
decent people on decent occasions ? We can conceive of 
no answer except the worse than beastly use to which 
the function has been so generally put by man. There 
is nothing about the sexual organism which makes it less 
pure than the lungs or the stomach. " Unto the pure all 
things are pure," may have been written especially for 
our times, when there is such a vast amount of mock 
modesty, when so much pretense of virtue covers such a 
world of iniquity and vice. The young lady who goes 
into a spasm of virtuous hysterics upon hearing the word 
" leg," is perhaps just the one who at home riots her 
imagination in voluptuous French novels, if she commits 
no grosser breach of chastity. The parents who are the 
most opposed to judiciously imparting proper information 
to the young, are often those who have themselves been 
guilty of gross breaches of the laws of sexual hygiene, 
In the minds of such persons, the sexual organs and 
functions, and everything even remotely connected with 
them, are associated only with ideas of lust and gross 
sensuality. No wonder that they wish to keep such 
topics in the dark. With such thoughts, they cannot 
well bear the scrutiny of virtue. 

Sexual subjects are not, of course, proper subjects 
for conversation at all times, or at any time in a spirit of 


levity and flippancy. This subject should always be 
handled with the greatest delicacy of expression. Gross 
and vulgar forms of speech in relation to sexual subjects 
should never be employed in presenting the subject to 
the young, and the greatest care should be taken to 
avoid rousing morbid curiosity or stimulating the pas- 
sions. The object of imparting information is to allay 
curiosity by gratifying it in a wholesome way, and thus 
to prevent that precocious and morbid excitement of the 
sexual nature which is the natural outgrowth of ignorance, 
and is stimulated by those obscure hints and allusions 
which come to the notice of children even at a very 
early age. 

Knowledge is dangerous. 

Very true, knowledge is dangerous, but ignorance is 
still more dangerous ; or, rather, partial knowledge is 
more dangerous than a more complete understanding of 
facts. Children, young people, will not grow up in 
innocent ignorance. If, in obedience to custom, they are 
not encouraged to inquire of their parents about the 
mysteries of life, they will seek to satisfy their curiosity 
by appealing to older or better informed companions. 
They will eagerly read any book which promises any 
hint on the mysterious subject, and will embrace every 
opportunity, proper or improper — and most likely to be 
the latter — of obtaining the coveted information. Knowl- 
edge obtained in this uncertain and irregular way must 
of necessity be very unreliable. Many times — generally, 
in fact — it is of a most corrupting character, and the 
clandestine manner in which it is obtained is itself cor- 
rupting and demoralizing. A child ought to be taught 


to expect all such information from its parents, and it 
ought not to be disappointed. 

Again, while it is true that knowledge is dangerous, 
it is equally true that this dangerous knowledge will be 
gained sometime, at any rate; and as it must come, 
better let it be imparted by the parent, who can admin- 
ister proper warnings and cautions along with it, than 
by any other individual. Thus may the child be 
shielded from injury to which he would otherwise be 
certainly exposed. 

Young people should be left to find out these things for 

If human beings received much of their knowledge 
through instinct, as animals do, this might be a proper 
course ; but man gets his knowledge largely by instruc- 
tion. Young people will get their first knowledge of 
sexual matters mostly by instruction from some source. 
How much better, then, as we have already shown, 
to let them obtain this knowledge from the most 
natural and most reliable source ! 

The following paragraph from Dr. Ware is to the 
point : — 

" But putting aside the question whether we ought 
to hide this subject wholly from the young if we 
could, the truth, it is to be feared, is that we cannot 
if we would. Admitting it to be desirable, every man 
of experience in life will pronounce it to be imprac- 
ticable. If, then, we cannot prevent the minds of 
children from being engaged in some way on this sub- 
ject, may it not be better to forestall evil impressions 
by implanting good ones, or at least to mingle good ones 


with the evil as the nature of the case admits ? Let us 
be at least as wise as the crafty enemy of man, and cast 
in a little wheat with his tares ; and among the most ef- 
fectual methods of doing this is to impart to the young 
just and religious views of the nature and purpose of the 
relation which the Creator has established between the 
two sexes." 

When shall Information be Given ? — It is a matter 
of some difficulty to decide the exact age at which in- 
formation on sexual subjects should be given to the 
young. It may be adopted as a safe rule, however, 
that a certain amount of knowledge should be imparted 
as soon as there is manifested a curiosity in this direc- 
tion. If there is reason to believe that the mind of the 
child is exercised in this direction, even though he may 
have made no particular inquiries, information should 
not be withheld. 

How to Impart Proper Knowledge.— No little skill 
may be displayed in introducing these subjects to the 
mind of the young person in such a way as to avoid 
rousing the passions and creating sexual excitement. 
Perhaps the general plan followed in the first portion of 
this work will be found a very pleasant and successful 
method, if studied thoroughly, and well executed. 

All information should not be given at once. First 
obtain the child's confidence, and assure him by candor 
and unreserve that you will give him all needed infor- 
mation; then, as he encounters difficulties, he will 
resort for explanation where he knows he will receive 
satisfaction. When the little one questions, answer 
truthfully and carefully. 

The following paragraph from the pen of an able 
physician is wisely suggestive : — 


"When we are little boys and girls, our first in- 
quiries about our whence are answered by the authorita- 
tive dogma of the c silver spade ; ' we were dug up with 
that implement. By degrees the fact comes forth. 
The public, however, remains for ages in the silver-spade 
condition of mind with regard to the science of the fact ; 
and the doctors foster it by telling us that the whole 
subject is a medical property. . . . There is nothing 
wrong in the knowing ; and though the passions might 
be stimulated in the first moments by such information^ 
yet in the second instance they will be calmed by it ; 
and ceasing to be inflamed by the additional goad of 
curiosity and imagination, they will cool down under the 
hydropathic influence of science. Well-stated knowl- 
edge never did contribute to human inflammation ; and 
we much question whether the whole theory of the 
silver spade be not a mistake ; and whether children 
should not be told the truth from the first ; that before 
desire and imagination are born, the young mind may 
receive in its cool innocency, a knowledge of the fut- 
ure objects of power and faculties which are to be sub- 
ject afterward to such strong excitement." 

Eminent Testimony. — The dangers of ignorance 
upon sexual topics are very ably set forth in the follow- 
ing article, which recently appeared in the British 
Medical Journal, the leading medical periodical of the 
age, having been called out by the exposures of the 
Pall Mall Gazette, elsewhere referred to in this vol- 
ume : — 

" Recent painful disclosures have, among other re- 
sults, raised an important question, which, in the pres- 
ent state of opinion, can be most readily discussed in 


the pages of a medical journal. We refer to the com- 
plete ignorance regarding the sexual organs and the 
sexual functions which is permitted, and, indeed, sedu- 
lously fostered, by the ordinary education received by 
boys and girls in this country. Not only does our 
school system provide no information on these topics 
which so vitally concern the happiness of every individ- 
ual, but the slightest allusion to the subject is apt to 
be rigorously prohibited, and perhaps branded as ob- 
scenity. The result is, that there is a great deal of 
ignorance on these questions, and a still greater amount 
of half knowledge, which is more dangerous than either 
total ignorance or the fullest information. We have the 
authority of Sir James Paget for the statement that 
some men grow up, and even marry, in complete sexual 
ignorance ; and that, while this is rare in the male sex, 
it is extremely common among cultivated and refined 

" The decent veil which we conspire to throw over 
everything concerned with the reproductive function, 
serves, beyond doubt, some useful ends, and we trust 
the English people will always be characterized by their 
delicacy of thought and expression in this matter. But 
we are convinced that this secrecy, this conspiracy of 
silence, has gone too far, and that it is productive of 
serious evils. We object, in the first place, to it as un- 
natural. That our educational methods and social prac- 
tice should permit men, or more frequently women, to 
marry without knowing what marriage involves, is not 
merely unnatural, but may be the cause of much matri- 
monial unhappiness. Parents and school-masters act as 
if innocence in such matters could last for life, and as if 
knowledge were a crime. 


" But a much more serious, because infinitely more 
common, evil is the objectionable mode in which sexual 
knowledge generally gets access to the mind. Instead 
of being conveyed in some plain and matter-of-fact man- 
ner, it is too often gained through the corrupting medium 
of lewd jest or obscene print. At the most emotional 
and plastic period of life, when new instincts are swelling 
up and causing great mental disquietude, we withhold 
from boys and girls the knowledge which nature is 
instinctively trying to impart, and we leave them to 
grope their way in darkness or to seek illumination from 
some unhallowed source. 

" Why do the young so often regard an obscene work 
or print with such fearful but such irresistible curiosity ? 
Not from mere depravity, as we often assume, but 
because they are thus unconsciously seeking information 
which they have a right to possess, and which we are 
conscientiously bound to supply in some form which will 
enlighten the reason, without inflaming the imagination 
and exciting the passions. Sexual knowledge is not 
wrong; its tendency is not necessarily injurious; but 
our mistaken methods of secrecy have undoubtedly the 
most unfortunate effect of stimulating the imagination to 
the highest point. We know the baleful fascination of 
forbidden fruit, not because it is sweet or pleasant, but 
simply because it is forbidden. This is a notable trait 
in human nature ; but in our attitude toward sexual 
questions, we have disregarded it, or rather acted in 
direct contravention of it. The sexual function is nat- 
urally powerful ; but we enormously increase its attrac- 
tion for the young by labeling it as forbidden fruit. 

" It is usually easier to indicate a disease than to 


apply a suitable remedy, but we shall not conclude with- 
out venturing a few suggestions. First, let us glance at 
what is suggested in the very few books which touch 
upon the question. Many urge that parents should con- 
vey knowledge upon these questions to their children at 
the time of life when external signs and new sensations 
indicate that the sexual instinct is beginning to awake. 
But many, probably the majority of parents, are not 
well fitted to undertake such a duty. Our language is 
badly provided with the necessary terms, and the un- 
trained parent, ignorant of the anatomical expression, 
would find it hard to convey the necessary information 
without incurring the suspicion and, in his own mind, 
the reproach of indelicacy. 

" Some advise that the family medical attendant 
should act in loco parentis in this matter; but we are 
certain that such action would be highly disagreeable to 
the members of the profession. One suggestion alone 
seems to meet the case, but, fortunately, it meets it 
most thoroughly. Elementary anatomy and physiology 
should form an integral part of every education. We 
might begin by teaching boys and girls the bones and 
skeleton, the functions of the heart, stomach, etc. ; and 
then, when the suitable age arrives, the structure and 
functions of the sexual organs might be taken as the 
natural sequel of the previous portions of the course. 
In this way, the necessary knowledge would enter the 
mind naturally and simply, with no false shame on the 
one hand, and no fillip to the imagination on the other. 
We are confident that an immense reform would thus be 
easily and quietly effected, and that much evil and 
suffering would be averted. We should thus convey, in 


the most natural and unobjectional form, knowledge 
which we have no right to withhold ; and we should 
remove the unwholesome fascination which our present 
habit of secrecy imparts to sexual questions. Certain it 
is that the stealthy approaches of vice are favored by 
the existing system. 

"It will often be found that there is a prevalent 
opinion that sexual immorality is to celibates a physical 
necessity, an attribute of manliness, and even a collateral 
or prevalent condition of health. This degrading error 
has been so vigorously denounced by the ablest of mod- 
ern physiologists, that no one has any longer a pretext 
for entertaining or promulgating it. It has been the 
source of much evil, however; and wherever such an 
opinion is met, it must be energetically denounced. 

" There is an aspect of the question which cannot be 
overlooked, especially as recent revelations have thrown 
a lurid light upon it. It has been abundantly proved 
that young girls are often entrapped to their ruin in the 
most utter ignorance of sexual questions, and of the 
physical significance of the act to which they are enticed. 
This is surely a lamentable instance of propriety over- 
reaching itself. Innocent ignorance is always attract- 
ive ; but if be the means of luring the innocent victim to 
her doom, it is surely more dangerous. How, then, is 
the girl, approaching sexual maturity, to be made 
acquainted with the solemn facts of creative act, and 
guarded against associating them with the base impulses 
of passion ? We commend this difficult question to the 
thoughtful consideration of our readers. In this respect, 
also, the mothers and the teachers have a very solemn 
duty ; and it is opportune to ask how, when, where, and 
"by whom it is best performed." 


The experience of hundreds in the circulation of the 
present work has proven beyond all chance for question 
the truth of the foregoing remarks, and often in a most 
striking manner. Scores of persons have written us, " I 
would give all I possess in this world could I have had 
a copy of ' Plain Facts ' placed in my hands when I was 
a lad," or, " Words cannot express the gratitude I would 
now feel had some kind friend imparted to me the valu- 
able information which this book contains ; it would have 
saved me a life of wretchedness." 

We have had the satisfaction of knowing, in numerous 
instances, that the virtue and happiness of whole families 
have been secured by the timely warnings of danger 
which parents have obtained from this work. We are 
glad to be able to feel that it is now thoroughly demon- 
strated that intelligent persons who have given this 
subject thought, universally approve of the objects of 
the work, and the manner of presenting the subject 
adopted in it. Those who at first question the propriety 
of discussing the subject so freely and thoroughly as is 
here done, lose their prejudice entirely upon giving the 
work a careful perusal. In numerous instances it has 
occurred that those who were most decided in their de- 
nunciations, have become the most zealous and efficient 
agents in its circulation, after becoming more fully 
acquainted with it. 

Sex in Living Forms, 

IFE, in its great diversity of forms, has ever been, 
a subject of the deepest interest to rational beings. 
Poets have sung of its joys and sorrows, its brill- 
iant phantasies and harsh realities. Philosophers 
have spent their lives in vain attempts to solve its mys- 
teries 5 and some have believed that life was nothing 
more than a stupendous farce, a delusion of the senses. 
Moralists have sought to impress men with the truth 
that " life is real," and teeming with grave responsibil- 
ities. Physiologists have busied themselves in observ- 
ing the phenomena of life, and learning therefrom its 
laws. The subject is certainly an interesting one, and 
none could be more worthy of the most careful attention.. 

Living Beings. — Man possesses life in common with 
other beings almost infinite in number and variety. The 
hugest beast that roams the forest or plows the main is 
no more a living creature than the smallest insect or 
microscopic animalculum. The " big tree " of California, 
and the tiny blade of grass which waves at its foot, are 
alike imbued with life. All nature teems with life. The 
practiced eye detects multitudes of living forms at every 

Microscopic Life. — The universe of life presents the 
most marvelous manifestations of the infinite power and 
wisdom of the Creator to be found in all his works. The 

3 [33] 


student of biology sees life in myriad forms which are 
unnoticed by the casual observer. The microscope re- 
veals worlds of life that were unknown before the dis- 
covery of this wonderful aid to human vision, — whole 
tribes of living organisms, each of which, though insig- 
nificant in size, possesses organs as perfect and as useful 
to it, in its sphere, as do animals of greater magnitude. 

Under a powerful magnifying glass, a drop of water 
from a stagnant pool is found to be peopled with curious 
animated forms ; slime from a damp rock, or a speck of 
green scum from the surface of a pond, presents a 
museum of living wonders. Through this instrument 
the student of nature learns that life in its lowest form 
is represented by a mere atom of living matter, an insig- 
nificant speck of trembling jelly, transparent and struct- 
ureless, having no organs of locomotion, yet able to move 
in any direction ; no nerves or organs of sense, yet pos- 
sessing a high degree of sensibility ; no mouth, teeth, 
nor organs of digestion, yet capable of taking food, 
growing, developing, producing other individuals like 
itself, becoming aged, infirm, and dying, — such is the 
life history of a living creature at the lower extreme of 
the scale of animated being. 

As we rise higher in the scale, we find similar little 
atoms of life associated together in a single individual, 
each doing its proper share of the work necessary to 
maintain the life of the individual as a whole, yet 
retaining, at the same time, its own individual life. 

As we ascend to still higher forms, we find this asso- 
ciation of minute living creatures resulting in the pro- 
duction of forms of increasing complicity. As the 
structure of the individual becomes more complex, and 


its functions more varied, the greater is the number of 
separate, yet associated, organisms required to do the 

In man, at the very summit of the scale of animate 
existence, we find the most delicate and wonderfully in- 
tricate living mechanism of all. In him, as in lower, in- 
termediate forms of life, the life of the individual is but 
a summary of the lives of all the numberless minute 
organisms of which his body is composed. The individ- 
ual life is but the aggregate life of all the millions of 
distinct individuals which are associated together in the 
human organism. 

Animals and Vegetables.— The first classification of 
living creatures separates them into two great kingdoms, 
animal and vegetable. Although it is very easy to 
define the general characteristics of each of these classes, 
it is impossible to fix upon any single peculiarity which 
will be applicable to every case. Most vegetable 
organisms remain stationary ; while some possess organs 
of locomotion, and swim about in the water in a manner 
much resembling the movements of certain animals. 
Most vegetables obtain their nutriment from the earth 
and the air, while animals subsist on living matter. A 
few plants seem to take organic matter for food, some 
even catching and killing small insects. 

It is found impossible to draw the precise line be- 
tween animals and vegetables, for the reason just men- 
tioned. The two kingdoms blend so intimately that in 
some cases it is impossible to tell whether a certain 
microscopic speck of life is an animal or a vegetable. 
But since these doubtful creatures are usually so minute 
that several millions of them can exist in a single drop 


of water, it is seldom of practical importance whether 
they are animal or vegetable, or sometimes one and 
sometimes the other, as they have been supposed to be 
by some biologists. 

Protoplasm. — All living creatures are organized be- 
ings. Most possess a structure and an organism more 
or less complicated ; but some of the lowest forms are 
merely little masses of transparent, homogeneous jelly, 
known as protoplasm. Some of the smallest of these 
are so minute that one hundred millions of them could 
occupy the space of a cube one-thousandth of an inch 
on each side ; yet each one runs its course of life as 
regularly as man himself, performing its proper functions 
even more perfectly, perhaps. 

Life Force. — To every thinking mind the question 
often recurs, What makes the fragrant flower so differ- 
ent from the dead soil from which it grows ? the trilling 
bird so vastly superior to the inert atmosphere in which 
it flies ? What subtle power paints the rose, and tunes 
the merry songster's voice ? To explain this mystery, 
philosophers of olden time supposed the existence of a 
certain peculiar force, which is called life, or vital force, 
or vitality. 

This supposition does nothing more than furnish a 
name for a thing unknown, and the very existence of 
which may fairly be doubted. In fact, any attempt to 
find a place for such a force, to understand its origin, or 
harmonize its existence with that of other well-known 
forces, is unsuccessful; and the theory of a peculiar 
vital force, a presiding entity, present in every living 
thing, vanishes into thin air to give place to the more 
rational view of the most advanced modern scientists, 


that vital force, so-called, is only a manifestation of the 
ordinary forces of nature acting through a peculiar 
arrangement of matter. 

Life and Organization.— Life depends, not upon a 
peculiar force, but upon a peculiar arrangement of mat- 
ter, or organization. It is simply a peculiar manifesta- 
tion of the force possessed by atoms exhibited through a 
peculiar arrangement of atoms and molecules. This ar- 
rangement is what is known as organization ; and bodies 
which possess it are known as organized or living 

The term life may be understood as referring to the 
phenomena which result from organization. 

That life results from organization, not organization 
from life, is more consonant with the accepted and 
established facts of science than the contrary view. 
We might adduce numerous facts and arguments in 
support of this view of the nature of life, but will not 
dwell longer upon the subject here, as we have consid- 
ered it at some length elsewhere. 

Life Force a Mystery. — That heat and mechanical 
force are produced by the action of the so-called vital 
force, is seen by observation. Through experimentation 
by the aid of delicate instruments, it may be shown 
that vital force is also convertible into electricity. In 
certain classes of animals, as the electric eel and cer- 
tain fishes, the amount of electricity generated is so great 
that large animals may be paralyzed by the shock re- 
ceived when they come in contact with animals pos- 
sessing this property. Certain other classes of the 
animal kingdom, as the fire-fly, etc., possess the still 
more remarkable property of converting vital heat into 


light. The doctrine of the correlation of forces would 
certainly lead to the supposition that the forces men- 
tioned are likewise converted into vital action, and 
the phenomena of animal nutrition also point strongly 
in this direction. 

How the common forces of nature are converted 
into life force, or vital force, is a question we shall not 
undertake to answer, except to say that it is through 
organization. How vital force is converted into heat, 
light, electricity, and magnetism, is a problem equally 
difficult of solution. How gravitation acts upon mat- 
ter; how one particle of matter acts upon another; 
how light travels ; how force is transmitted from one 
object to another, as from a driving belt to the pulley 
which is propelled by it, — these are all questions 
which, though apparently easy and simple, are quite be- 
yond the ability of the most profound scientist to an- 




Nutrition and reproduction* are the two great functions 
of life, being common, not only to all animals, but to 
both animals and plants, to all classes of living creatures. 
The object of the first is the development and mainte- 
nance of individual existence ; the second has for its 
end the production of new individuals, or the preservation 
of the race. Nutrition is a purely selfish process ; repro- 
duction is purely unselfish in its object, though the 
human species, unlike the lower animals, which, while 
less intelligent, are far more true to nature, too often 
pervert its functions to the most grossly selfish ends. 

Reproduction Common to All Living Things.— As 
before remarked, reproduction is a function common to 
all animals and to all plants. Every organized being 
has the power to reproduce itself, or to produce, or aid 
in producing, other individuals like itself. It is by 
means of this function that plants and animals increase 
or multiply. 

When we consider the great diversity of characters 
illustrated in animal and vegetable life, and the infinite 
variety of conditions and circumstances under which 
organized creatures exist, it is not surprising that modes 
of reproduction should also present great diversity, both 
in general character and in detail. We shall find it 
interesting and instructive to consider some of the many 
different modes of reproduction, or generation, observed 
in different classes of living beings, previous to entering 
upon the specific study of reproduction in man. Before 

* "Science and the Bible," by the author, pp. 36-46. 


doing this, however, let us give brief attention to a theo- 
retical form of generation, which cannot be called repro- 
duction, known as — 

Spontaneous Generation.— By tnis term is meant 
the supposed formation of living creatures directly from 
dead matter without the intervention of other living or- 
ganisms. The theory is, in substance, an old one. The 
ancients supposed that the frogs and other small reptiles 
so abundant in the vicinity of slimy pools and stagnant 
marshes, were generated spontaneously from the mud 
and slime in which they lived. This theory was, of 
course, abandoned when the natural history of reptiles 
became known. 

For several thousand years the belief was still held 
that maggots found in decaying meat were produced 
spontaneously; but it was discovered, centuries ago, 
that maggots are not formed if the flesh is protected 
from flies, and hence must be the larvae of a species 
of this insect. A relic of the ancient belief in spontaneous 
generation is still found in the supposition that horse-hair 
snakes, so-called, are really formed from the hairs of 
horses. This belief is quite common, but science long 
ago exposed its falsity. It is now known that the 
liorse-hair snake is a parasitic worm, which spends part 
of its existence in the stomach of a certain species of 
beetle. After beginning its independent existence, it 
frequents moist places, such as stagnant pools by the 
road-side, watering troughs, etc. When the water dries 
up, the horse-hair snake becomes dry and apparently 
lifeless, and shrivels up, so that it is not readily discov- 
ered. A new rain moistens the little creature, and 
brings it into active life again so suddenly that it seems 


like a new creation, or, according to the popular opinion, 
appears to be converted from a dead hair into a living 

Germs. — When the microscope was discovered, it- 
revealed a whole new world of infinitesimal beings, 
known as germs, or bacteria, which were at first supposed 
to be of spontaneous origin ; but careful scientific inves- 
tigation has shown that even these mere specks of life 
are not independent of parentage. M. Pasteur and, 
more recently, Prof. Tyndall, with many other distin- 
guished scientists, have demonstrated this fact beyond 
all reasonable chance for question. 

One fact which gave rise to the belief in the sponta- 
neous origin of germs, is their remarkable vitality. 
These microscopic specks of life have been known to 
stand a temperature of ten degrees below zero, and con- 
siderably above the boiling point of water. A sufficiently 
high degree of heat, however, or long-continued boiling, 
has been proven by M. Pasteur to be fatal to them, and 
by this means the doctrine of spontaneous generation 
was overthrown. 

It is, then, an established law, that every living organ- 
ism originates with some previously existing living being or 

It may be queried, If it be true that life is but a 
manifestation of the ordinary forces of matter, — which 
are common to both dead and living matter, — being de- 
pendent upon arrangement, then why may it not be that 
dead matter may, through the action of molecular laws, 
and without the intervention of any living existence, 
assume those peculiar forms of arrangement necessary to 
constitute life, as supposed by the advocates of the theory 


in question ? It is true that some who recognize the fact 
that life is the result of organization, maintain the doctrine 
of spontaneous generation ; that is, the production of life 
without any agency other than the recognized forces of 
nature being brought about simply by a fortuitous com- 
bination of atoms. Although this doctrine cannot be 
said to be inconsistent with the theory of life presented, 
yet it is by no means a legitimate or necessary result of 
it; and observation proves its falsity. 

Origin of Life. — The testimony of all nature, as 
almost universally admitted by scientific men, is that 
life originated through a creative act by the first great 
Cause, who gave to certain bodies the requisite arrange- 
ment or organization to enable them to perform certain 
functions, and delegated to them the power to transmit 
the same to other matter, and thus to perpetuate life. 
The Creator alone has the power to originate life. Man, 
with all his wisdom and attainments, cannot discover the 
secret of organization. He may become familiar with 
its phenomena, but he cannot unravel, further, the mys- 
tery of life. The power of organizing is possessed only 
by the lower class of living or organized bodies, those 
known as vegetable organisms, or plants. A grain of 
wheat, a kernel of corn, a potato, when placed under 
favorable conditions, takes the inert, lifeless particles of 
matter which lie about it in the earth and air, and organ- 
izes them into living substances like itself. 

To man and animals the Creator delegated the power 
to form their own peculiar structures from the vitalized 
tissues of plants. Thus, both animal and vegetable life 
is preserved without the necessity of continued acts of 
creative power, each plant and each animal possessing 


the power, not only to preserve its own life, but also to 
aid, at least, in the perpetuation of the species. The 
record of creation in Genesis harmonizes perfectly with 
this view, it being represented that God formed (organ- 
ized or arranged) man, animals, and vegetable produc- 
tions from the earth. 

Simplest Form of Generation.— Deep down beneath 
the waters of the ocean, covering its bottom in certain 
localities, is found a curious slime, which, under the 
microscope, is seen to be composed of minute rounded 
masses of gelatinous matter, or protoplasm. By watch- 
ing these little bodies intently for a few minutes, the 
observer will discover that each is a living creature, 
capable of moving, growing, and assuming a variety of 
shapes. Continued observation will reveal the fact that 
these little creatures multiply; and a more careful 
scrutiny will enable him to see how they increase. Each 
divides into two equal parts so nearly alike that they 
cannot be distinguished when apart. In this case, the 
process of generation is simply the production of two 
similar individuals from one. 

Low Forms of Life. — A small quantity of slime 
taken from the surface of a stone near the bottom of an 
old well, or on the sea-side, when placed under the 
microscope, will sometimes be found to contain large 
numbers of small, round, living bodies. Careful watch- 
ing will show that they also multiply by division ; but 
before the division occurs, two cells unite to form one by 
a process called conjugation. Then, by the division of 
this cell, instead of only two cells, a large number of 
small cells are formed, each of which may be considered 
as a bud formed upon the body of the parent cell, and 


then separated from it, to become by growth an individ- 
ual like its parent, and, like it, to produce its kind. In 
this case, we have new individuals formed by the union 
of two individuals which are to all appearance entirely 
similar in every particular. 

Sex. — Rising higher in the scale of being, we find 
that, with rare exceptions, reproduction is the result of 
the union of two dissimilar elements. These elements 
do not, in higher organisms, as in lower forms of life, 
constitute the individuals, but are produced by them 
and being unlike, they are produced by special organs 
€ach adapted to the formation of one kind of element 
The two classes of organs usually exist in separate indi 
viduals, thus giving rise to distinctions of sex, an indi 
vidual possessing organs which form one kind of element 
faeing called a male, and one possessing organs for the 
formation of the other kind of element, a female. The 
sexual differences between individuals of the same 
species are not, however, confined to the sexual organs. 
In most classes of plants and animals, other sexual 
differences are very marked. In some of the lower 
orders of animals, and in many species of plants, the 
male and female individuals are so much unlike that for 
a long time after they were well known, no sexual rela- 
tion was discovered. 

In some species of plants, as for example the pond 
scums, there is apparently no distinction of sex; and 
yet a union of two distinct individuals is necessary for 
fecundation; and there is reason to believe that these 
two individuals, though apparently in no way dissimilar, 
presenting under the microscope complete identity of 
appearance, are really sexually distinct, one being male 
and the other female. 


Hermaphrodism. — An individual possessing both 
male and female organs of reproduction, is called an 
hermaphrodite. Such a combination is very rare among 
higher animals ; but it is by no means uncommon among 
plants and the lower forms of animal life. The snail, 
the oyster, the earth-worm, the barnacle, and the common 
tape-worm are examples of true hermaphrodites. So- 
called human hermaphrodites are usually individuals in 
whom the sexual organs are abnormally developed, so 
that they resemble those of the opposite sex, though 
they really have but one sex, which can usually be 
determined with certainty. Only a very few cases have 
been observed in which both male and female organs 
were present. 

There is now living in Germany an individual who 
bears the name of a woman ; but learned physicians 
have decided that the person is as much man as woman, 
having the organs of both sexes. What is still more 
curious, this person has the feelings of both sexes, having 
loved first a man, and afterward a woman. There have 
been observed, also, a very few instances of individuals 
in whom the sexual organs of neither sex were present. 
It thus appears that a person may be of both sexes, or 
of no sex at all. 

Sex in Plants. — To one unacquainted with the 
mysteries of plant life and growth, the idea of attaching 
sexuality to plants seems very extraordinary ; but the 
botanist recognizes the fact that the distinctions of sex 
are as clearly maintained in the vegetable as in the 
animal kingdom. The sexual organs of the higher orders 
of plants are flowers. That part of the flower which 
produces seeds, answers to the female; another part, 
which is incapable of forming seeds, answers to the male. 


The fertile and the sterile flowers are sometimes pro- 
duced on separate plants. Very frequently, they are 
produced upon separate parts of the same plant, as in 
the oak, walnut, and many other forest trees, and Indian 
corn. In the latter plant, so familiar to every one, the 
" tassel " contains the male flowers, and the part known 
as the " silk," with the portion to which it is attached, — 
which becomes the ear, — the female, or fertile flowers. 
In a large number of species, the male and female organs 
-are combined in a single flower, making a true hermaph- 

Sex in Animals. — As previously remarked, individ- 
uals of opposite sex usually differ much more than in the 
character of their sexual organs. Among higher animals, 
the male is usually larger, stronger, and of coarser 
structure than the female. The same contrast is observed 
in their mental characters. With lower animals, espe- 
cially insects, the opposite is often observed. The 
female spider is many times larger than the male. The 
male ant is small in size when compared with the female. 
Nevertheless, in all classes of animals, the difference in 
the structure and the functions of the sexual organs is 
the chief distinguishing characteristic. These differences 
are not so great, however, as they might at first appear. 
The male and female organs of reproduction in man and 
other animals, which seem so dissimilar, when studied in 
the light shed upon this subject by the science of 
embryology, are found to be wonderfully alike in struct- 
ure, differing far more in appearance than in reality, and 
being little more than modifications of one general plan. 
Every organ to be found in the one sex has an analogue 
in the other which is complete in every particular, cor- 
responding in function, in structure, and usually in 


Other Sexual Differences.— In this country there is 
between five and six inches difference in hight, and about 
twenty pounds difference in weight, between the average 
man and the average woman, the average man being 
about five feet, eight inches in hight, and weighing one 
hundred and forty-five pounds ; while the average woman 
is five feet, two or two and one-half inches in hight, and 
weighs one hundred and twenty-five pounds. The rela- 
tion of the sexes in hight and weight varies in degree in 
different countries, but is never changed. The average 
hight and weight of American men and women is consid- 
erably above that of the average human being. 

Men and Women Differ in Form.— The differences 
in form are so marked that it is possible for the skilled 
anatomist to determine the sex of a human being who 
has been dead for ages, by an examination of the skeleton 
alone. In man, the shoulders are broad, the hips narrow, 
and the limbs nearly straight with the body. In woman, 
the shoulders are narrow and usually rounded, and set 
farther back, the collar-bone being longer and less curved, 
giving the chest greater prominence ; while the hips are 

The consequence of these differences is that woman 
is generally less graceful and naturally less skillful in 
the use of the extremities than man, and hence less 
fitted for athletic sports and feats requiring great dex- 
terity. A girl throws a stone awkwardly, less from 
want of practice than from a natural peculiarity of phys- 
ical structure. A woman walks less gracefully than a 
man, owing to the greater relative breadth of her hips, 
requiring a motion of the body together with that of the 
limbs. In consequence of this peculiarity, a woman is 
less fitted for walking long distances. 


The Male and the Female Brain.— But there are 
other important physical differences to which we must 
call attention. Man possesses a larger brain than 
woman, but she makes up the deficiency in size by 
superior fineness in quality. The female brain differs 
from the masculine organ of mentality in other particulars 
so marked that one who has given the subject attention 
can determine with perfect ease the probable sex of the 
owner of almost any skull which might be presented to 
him. This difference in the conformation of the skull is 
undoubtedly due to a difference in mental character, 
which, in turn, depends upon a difference in cerebral 
development. Faculties which are generally largely 
developed in one, are usually smaller in the other ; and 
the reverse. 

There has been much discussion as to which sex 
possesses the stronger brain. The fact that the brain 
of the average woman weighs but forty-two ounces, 
while that of the average man weighs forty-nine ounces, 
has been stated as evidence that there is a corresponding 
difference in mental capacity. Those who advocate this 
theory seem to have lost sight of the fact that size alone 
is by no means a measure of power. The elephant pos- 
sesses a much larger brain than the largest human brain 
ever weighed, and yet the intelligence of the elephant, 
remarkable as it is for a beast, is infinitely inferior to 
that of man. Quality as well as quantity must be taken 
into consideration, and it must be shown that the phys- 
ical organization of man is finer in quality than that of 
woman, before the claim of superiority can be estab- 
lished. It is certainly reasonable to suppose that the 
female brain, as well as the female bones and muscles, 


is of a finer texture and more delicate organization, and 
hence is possessed of greater intelligence than the male 
brain of equal size. 

But the most remarkable fact of all, and one which 
seems to have escaped the attention of those who have 
written upon this subject, is that the comparison of the 
male and female brains has been made without regard 
to the relative average sizes of male and female bodies. 
The average man is larger than the average woman; 
he has larger bones, larger muscles, and in all respects a 
much larger development; while the average woman 
possesses small bones and muscles, though having a 
larger proportion of adipose tissue. But the average 
woman's brain, while smaller than that of the average 
man, is really larger in proportion to her body. 

Thus it appears that in an argument based upon 
brain work irrespective of quality, woman has the ad- 
vantage ; and if it be granted that to this superior rela- 
tive size of brain is added superior quality, the weight of 
argument predominates in favor of superior mental capac- 
ity in woman rather than in man. 

From the author's standpoint, however, all these 
arguments are unnecessary. That the brain of the 
average woman differs in quality from the bra inof the 
average man, is a fact too patent to require argument 
for its support. Each class of minds has its sphere, and 
is in its sphere superior. Men are undoubtedly best 
fitted for their sphere in life, and women for theirs ; 
and yet it is undoubtedly true that among women there 
are to be found numerous exceptions, some seeming to 
be adapted for muscular rather than feminine pursuits, 
and others being vastly better fitted for some of the 



vocations in life which are monopolized by men to a 
great extent, than are some men. 

Vital Organs of Man and Woman. — The anatomist 
also observes an interesting difference in the size of the 
various vital organs. For example, while a woman 
has a heart proportionally smaller than the same organ 
in man, she has a larger liver. Thus, while less fitted 
for severe physical exertion by less circulatory power, 
she has superior excretory powers. 

Woman Less Muscular, More Enduring. — This 
peculiarity of structure is perfectly harmonious with the 
fact which experience has established so often as to 
make the matter no longer a question, that woman is 
less fitted for severe muscular exertion than man, but 
possesses in a superior degree the quality known as endur- 
ance. With a less robust frame, a more delicately or- 
ganized constitution, she will endure for months what 
would kill a robust man in as many weeks. More per- 
fect elimination of the wastes of the body secures a 
higher grade of vitality. On no other hypothesis could 
we account for the marvelous endurance of the feminine 
part of the civilized portion of the human race, ground 
down under the heel of fashion for ages, " stayed," " cor- 
seted," " laced," and thereby distorted and deformed in a 
manner that would be fatal to almost any member of the 
masculine sex. 

A Pathological Difference.— Nearly all physiologists 
mention another particular in which woman differs ma- 
terially from man; viz., in naturally employing, in 
respiration, chiefly the upper part of the lungs, while 
man breathes chiefly with the lower part of the lungs. 
For several years, we have carefully studied this ques- 


tion, and we have been unable to find any physiolog- 
ical or anatomical reason sufficient to account for this 
fact, if it be such. 

Why a Woman does Not Breathe Like a Man- 
It is undoubtedly true that most women do breathe al- 
most exclusively with the upper part of the chest ; but 
whether this is a natural peculiarity, or an acquired, 
unnatural, and depraved one, is a question which we are 
decidedly inclined to answer in harmony with the latter 
supposition, basing our conclusion on the following un- 
deniable facts : — 

1. In childhood, and until about the age of puberty, 
respiration in the boy and the girl is exactly the 

2. Although there is a change in the mode of respira- 
tion in most females, usually soon after the period of 
puberty, marked by increased intercostal respiration and 
diminished abdominal or deep respiration, this change 
can be accounted for on other than physiological grounds. 

3. We believe the cause of this modification of res- 
piration is the change in dress which is usually made 
about that time. The young girl is now becoming a 
woman, and must acquire the art of lacing, wearing a 
corset, " stays," and sundry other contrivances which 
will aid in producing a " fine form," by distorting and 
distroying all natural grace and beauty in the "form 

4. We have met a number of ladies whose good fort- 
une and good sense had delivered them from the dis- 
torting influence of corset-wearing and tight-lacing, and 
we have invariably observed that they are capable of 
as deep respiration as men, and practice it naturally. 


We are thoroughly convinced that this so-called 
physiological difference between man and woman is 
really a pathological rather than a natural difference, 
and is due to the evils of fashionable dress, which we 
have exposed at some length in another work exclusively 
devoted to that subject.* In short, we believe that the 
only reason why women do not, under ordinary circum- 
stances, breathe as do men, is simply because they cannot 
breathe naturally. 

The Reproductive Elements.— As has been pre- 
viously observed, in all except the very lowest forms of 
life, two elements are necessary to the production of a 
new individual, or a reproduction of the species, — a male 
element and a female element. The special organs by 
means of which these elements are produced, brought 
together, and developed into the new individual in a 
more or less perfect state, are termed sexual organs. As 
an introduction to the specific study of the sexual organs 
in the human species, let us briefly consider the — 

Sexual Organs of Plants.— Flowers are the sexual 
organs of plants. Nothing is more interesting in the 
natural world than the wonderful beauty, diversity, and 
perfect adaptability to various conditions and functions, 
which we see in the sexual parts of plants. An exceed- 
ingly interesting line of study, which has occupied the at- 
tention of many naturalists, is the wonderful perfection 
displayed in the adaptability of the male and female parts 
of plants to each other. Without burdening the reader 
with unnecessary technicalities of detail, we will briefly 
notice the principal parts of vegetable sexual organs as 
illustrated in flowers. 

* "Evils of Fashionable Dress, and How to Dress Heathfully." 


Complete flowers are made up of four parts, two of 
which, the stamen and pistil, are essential, while the 
other two, the calyx and corolla , are accessory. 

The calyx is that part which surrounds the flower at 
its outer and lower part. It varies greatly in form and 
color, but is most frequently of a green or greenish 


Just within the calyx is the corolla, which usually 
forms the most attractive, showy, and beautiful part of 
the flower. The beautifully colored petals of the rose, 
geranium, dahlia, and other similar flowers, form their 

Vegetable Husbands.— Within the cup formed by 
the calyx and corollas are placed the stamens and pistils 
of the flower, the first being the male organs proper, and 
the second the female organs of the flower. 

The stamen is composed of a stem, or filament, at 
the summit of which are placed two little sacs, called 
the anther, containing a fine, microscopic dust, the pollen, 
which contains the male reproductive element of the 
flower. This part of the plant corresponds to the male 
organ of reproduction in animals. A stamen has been 
called, not inaptly, a vegetable husband. Some flowers 
have many stamens, or vegetable husbands, which re- 
minds us of the custom in Thibet and some other East- 
ern countries which allows a woman to have several 

Polygamous Flowers.— The great naturalist, Lin- 
naeus, whose name was immortalized by his careful study 
and classification of organized life, made the number of 
stamens possessed by various flowers the basis of a sys- 
tematic classification. 


For example, a flower having but one stamen was 
classed as monandria, which means, literally, one hus- 
band ; one having two stamens was classified as diandria ; 
flowers having a large number of male organs were 
termed polyandria, or many husbands. 

The Female Organs of Flowers.— The pistil occupies 
the very center of the flower. It produces and contains 
in a cell, the female element, termed the ovule. It is 
surmounted by the style and the stigma, 

A series of plants in which the sexual organs are not 
visible to the eye are called cryptogamia, which means, 
literally, hidden marriages. 

As we proceed to study the anatomy of the human 
sexual apparatus, we shall be constantly struck with the 
remarkable correspondence between animals and vegeta- 
bles in the structure and functions of the sexual ap- 

Sexual Organs of Animals.— The male reproductive 
element is called spermatozoon, or zoosperm. The female 
element is called an ovum, literally, an egg. 

The Spermatozoon. — The male reproductive element 
of animals is formed by an organ called the testis, or 
testicle, of which each male possesses two. They are 
elastic, glandular bodies, and are formed within the 
cavity of the abdomen, near the kidneys, but usually 
pass out of the abdominal cavity, and descend to their 
permanent position before birth. The opening in the 
abdominal wall is usually completely closed in a short 
time ; but occasionally it remains open, giving rise to 
congenital hernia, an accident in which a loop of intes- 
tine follows the testicle down into the scrotum, either 
completely or partially. In a few animals, as in the por- 


cupine, the opening is never fully closed, and the testis 
remains in the cavity of the body most of the time, 
passing out only at certain periods. We also occasion- 
ally meet cases of human beings in which the testes have 
never descended from their place in the abdominal cavity, 
giving the individuals the appearance of eunuchs. 

When the testicles are thus retained, they are 
usually imperfectly developed, and consequently the 
person is likely to be sterile. This is not always the 
case, however, and hence it occurs that men who appar- 
ently have no testicles, become the fathers of children. 

In the whale, the elephant, and the seal, the testicles 
remain permanently within the abdominal cavity, though 
in most animals they are supported outside the body in 
a sac, as in man. 

The left testicle is sometimes a little smaller than 
the right, and commonly hangs a little lower. The 
testicles are connected with the urinary passage by 
means of two ducts, which terminate near the base of 
the bladder. 

Spermatozoa. — A single spermatozoon somewhat re- 
sembles a tadpole in appearance, having, however, a 
much longer tail in proportion to the size of the body. 

Human spermatozoa are about ~ of an inch in 
length. Those of reptiles are very much larger. One 
of the remarkable features of these minute elements is 
their peculiar movements. While alive, the filamentous 
tail is in constant action in a manner strongly resembling 
the movements of the caudal appendage of a tadpole. 
This wonderful property led the earlier observers to be- 
lieve that they were true animalcula. But they are 
not to be regarded as such, though one can scarcely 


make himself believe otherwise while watching their 
lively evolutions, and apparently volitionary movements 
from one point to another. 

Spermatozoa originate in the testis as cells, which 
are filled with granules. After a time, each granule 
acquires a long appendage, and then the cell has become 
converted into a bundle of small zoosperms. Develop- 
ment still continues, until finally the thin pellicle on the 
outside of the bundle is ruptured, thus liberating the 
spermatozoa, which speedily complete their full develop- 
ment. The spermatozoon is pure protoplasm, which is 
the basis of all life, and its power of spontaneous motion 
is due to this fact. 

In man, the formation of spermatozoa continues with 
greater or less rapidity from puberty to old age, though 
at the two extremes of existence they are imperfectly 
developed. When not discharged from the body, they 
are said to be absorbed. Some physiologists claim that 
they are composed of a substance identical with nerve 
tissue, and that by absorption they play a very impor- 
tant part in the development and maintenance of the 
nervous system. 

It is asserted by good authorities that the reproduc- 
tive element in man is not sufficiently developed to be 
really fit for the reproduction of the species before the 
age of twenty-four or twenty-five. After the age of 
forty-five or fifty, this element deteriorates in quality, 
and is again unfitted for vigorous procreation. 

The fully developed zoosperms are suspended in a 
transparent, gelatinous fluid, which, mingled with the 
secretion of the prostate gland and other fluids which it 
meets during its expulsion from the body, constitutes 
the semen. 


The Ovum. — The female element of generation, the 
ovum, is produced by an organ called the ovary, of which 
there are two in each individual. In size and form, the 
ovary closely resembles the testicle. Like the latter 
organ, also, it is formed within the body early in the 
process of development ; but instead of passing outward 
and downward, as does the testicle, it remains within 
the abdominal cavity, suspended in place by ligaments. 
It is connected with a duct, which receives the ovum as 
it is discharged, and conveys it to the uterus. 

The human ovum varies in size from ^5 to ^ of an 
inch in diameter, and consists of a single cell. 

Ovulation. — Ova are not formed in such large num- 
bers as zoosperms. As a general rule, in the human 
female, a single ovum is developed and discharged once 
in about four weeks, during the period of sexual activity. 
This view is disputed by some physiologists, who claim 
that ovules are constantly being formed and thrown off, 
not only during that period of a woman's life during 
which child-bearing occurs, but prior and subsequent to 
the child-bearing period. The development of the 
ovaries is symmetrical in all the higher classes of animals, 
with the exception of birds, in whom the right ovary is 
usually atrophied or undeveloped, allowing room for the 
egg produced by this class of the animal kingdom. 

Fecundation. — It is often asked, and the question 
has elicited some discussion, Which is the principal repro- 
ductive element, the zoosperm, or the ovum ? The 
ancients supposed the male element to be the essential 
element, being simply nourished and developed by the 
female ; but modern research in biological science does 
not sustain this view. Probably neither one enjoys 


special pre-eminence ; for neither can undergo complete 
development without the other. In very rare cases, the 
ovum has been observed to undergo a certain amount of 
development of itself; but a perfect individual can be 
produced only by the union of the two kinds of elements, 
— a process known as fecundation. 

The fact that the spermatozoa are swallowed up and 
lost in the ovule, would rather indicate that the sperma- 
tozoa are inferior in physiological importance to the 
ovule, and that their chief action is to stimulate the 
ovule to active growth and complete development. 

The instant the union between the ovum and sper- 
matozoa occurs, the life of a new individual begins. All 
the changes which result between that moment and the 
birth of the individual, are those of development only. 
Indeed, the same existence continues from the instant of 
the union of the two elements, not only until birth, but 
through growth, the attainment of maturity, the decline 
of life, and even until death. 

It is interesting to observe the different methods by 
which fecundation is effected, in both plants and animals \ 
for this is a process common to both. 

Fecundation in Flowers.— The great naturalist, Lin- 
nseus, was the first to explain the reproductive process 
in plants. He tells us that " the flower forms the thea- 
ter of their amours ; the calyx is to be considered as the 
nuptial bed; the corolla constitutes the curtains; the 
anthers are the testes ; the pollen, the fecundating fluid ; 
the stigma of the pistil, the external genital aperture ; 
the style, the vagina, or the conductor of the prolific 
seed ; the ovary of the plant, the womb ; the reciprocal 
action of the stamens on the pistil, the accessory process 
of fecundation." 


Thus marvelous is the analogy between the repro- 
ductive organs and their functions in plants and animals. 
Through this one vital process we may trace a close 
relation between all the forms of life, from the humblest 
plant, or even the mere specks of life which form the 
green scum upon a stagnant pool, to man, the master- 
piece of creation, the highest of all animate creatures. 
In all the realm of nature there can be found no more 
remarkable evidence of the infinite skill and wisdom of 
the Creator of all things. 

In many instances, the action of plants seems almost 
to be prompted by intelligence. At the proper moment, 
the corolla contracts in such a way as to bring the sta- 
mens nearer to the stigma, or in contact with it, so as to 
insure fecundation. In some aquatic plants, the flowers 
elevate themselves above the surface of the water while 
the process of fecundation is effected, submerging them- 
selves again immediately afterward. 

Other very curious changes occur in flowers of differ- 
ent species during the reproductive act. The stigma is 
observed to become moistened, and even to become dis- 
tinctly odorous. Often, too, it becomes intensely con- 
gested with the juices of the plant, and sometimes even 
acquires an uncommon and most remarkable degree of 
contractility. This is the case with the stigma of the 
tulip and one variety of sensitive plant, and in these 
plants it is observed to occur not only after the applica- 
tion of the pollen to the stigma, but when excited by 
any other means of stimulation. The flowers of some 
plants, during and after fecundation, also show an in- 
crease of heat, in some cases so marked as to be readily 
detected with the thermometer. This is said to be es- 
pecially the case with the arum of Italy. 


In some plants in which the pistil is longer than the 
stamens, thus elevating the stigma above the anthers, 
the female organ is often observed to bend over and 
depress itself so as to come within reach of the anthers. 

In most instances, the fecundation of flowers is chiefly 
effected through a purely mechanical process, though in 
these cases, also, we see a wonderful adaptation of parts 
to conditions. 

Natural Adaptations.— When the male and female 
parts of flowers are situated on different plants, as in the 
case of the willow, the poplar, the melon vine, and many 
other species, the pollen of the male flower is wafted by 
the wind or a gentle breeze to the stigma of the female 
flower, which will usually be found at no very great 
distance, although fertilization may take place in this 
way at very considerable distances. Bees, moths, and 
many other species of insects, serve a very important 
purpose in this work, transporting the fertilizing dust 
upon their wings, antennge, sucking tubes, and feet. 
Small birds, and even the humble snail, which would 
scarcely be credited with any useful function, are also 
very serviceable in the same direction. The part per- 
formed by insects in the reproductive process of many 
plants is so great that they have been very poetically 
termed " the marriage priests of flowers." 

Nature provides for thorough fecundation in these 
cases, by placing the plants which bear the male and the 
female flowers near each other. This fact accounts for 
the unproductiveness of certain varieties of strawberries 
unless mixed with plants of some other variety, it being 
well known to nursery-men that some varieties produce 
the female parts of flowers almost exclusively. 


Curious Modes of Fecundation in Animals.— The 

modes by which fecundation is effected in animals are 
still more various and wonderful than in plants. In 
some of the lower animals, as in most fish and reptiles, 
both elements are discharged from the bodies of the 
parents before coming in contact, there being no contact 
of the two individuals. In this class of animals the 
process is almost wholly analogous to fecundation in 
those plants in which the male and female flowers are on 
different plants or on different parts of the same plant. 
In the female fish, a larger number of ova are developed 
at a certain season of the year, known as the spawning 
season. Sometimes the number reaches many thousands. 
At the same time, the testicles of the male fish, which 
are contained within the abdominal cavity, become dis- 
tended with developed zoosperms. When the female 
seeks a place to deposit her eggs, the male closely 
follows ; and as she drops them upon the gravelly bottom T 
he discharges upon them the zoosperms, by which they 
are fecundated. According to the testimony of an eye- 
witness, the waters of the North Sea are in some places 
turbid with the eggs of cod-fish during the spawning 

The process is analogous in some species of frogs. 
When the female is about to deposit her eggs, the male 
mounts upon her back, and rides about until the eggs are 
all deposited, discharging upon them the fertilizing 
spermatozoa as they are laid by the female. 

The male frog is enabled to maintain its hold during 
the long period occupied by the female in laying eggs, 
by means of an extra development upon the first toe 
of each fore-foot, which occurs at this period. At 


the end of the breeding season, these temporary thumbs, 
being no longer needed, disappear. 

In some species in which internal impregnation oc- 
curs, there is no contact between the species, but by 
some means not yet understood, the spermatozoa dis- 
charged by the male find their way into the internal 
passages of the female, where the ovules are impreg- 

In serpents, fecundation occurs by mere contact of 
the sexual organs. In snails, which have already 
been mentioned as hermaphrodite animals, each indi- 
vidual possessing in a perfectly developed state both 
male and female organs, internal fecundation occurs after 
a very curious fashion, thus described by the eminent 
naturalist, Prof. T. R. Jones, F. R. S., of London : — 

u The manner in which they copulate is not a little 
curious, their union being accompanied by preparatory 
blandishments of a very extraordinary kind, that to a 
spectator would seem rather like a combat between 
mortal foes than the tender advances of two lovers. 
After sundry caresses between the two parties, dur- 
ing which they exhibit an animation quite foreign to 
them at other times, one of the snails unfolds from the 
right side of its neck, where the generative orifice is 
situated, a wide sacculus, which, by becoming everted, 
displays a sharp dagger-like spiculum, or dart, attached 
to its walls. Having bared this singular weapon, it en- 
deavors, if possible, to strike it into some exposed part 
of the body of its paramour, who, on the other hand, 
uses every precaution to avoid the blow, by speedily re- 
treating into its shell. But, at length, having received 
the love-inspiring wound, the smitten snail prepares to 


retaliate, and in turn uses every effort to puncture its 
assailant in a similar manner. The darts are generally 
broken off in this encounter, and either fall to the 
ground, or remain fixed in the wounds which they have 
inflicted. After these preparatory stimulations, the 
snails proceed to more effective advances. The sac of 
the dart is withdrawn into the body, and another sacculus 
is by a like process protruded from the common genera- 
tive aperture. Upon the last-named organ, two orifices 
are seen, one of which leads to the female generative 
system, while from the other a long and whip-like penis 
is slowly unfolded, being gradually everted like the 
finger of a glove, until it attains the length of an inch 
or more. Then each of the two snails impregnates its 
partner, and is itself impregnated at the same time.' 

In the oyster, another hermaphrodite, self-fecunda- 
tion occurs. In the argonaut, a species of cuttle-fish, 
fecundation is effected in a most extraordinary manner. 
The male, which is smaller than the female, has upon 
the left side of its body a little sac, in which grows a 
coiled-up, worm-like arm covered with suckers. This 
arm is really a sac, which communicates with the testes, 
and contains spermatozoa. On reaching full develop- 
ment, and becoming filled with spermatozoa, this curious 
arm detaches itself from the body of the argonaut, and 
begins an independent life. Floating through the water, 
it by and by finds a female argonaut, with which it con- 
nects itself, and impregnates it with the spermatozoa 
transported from the male. 

In the tape-worm, a parasitic creature which is 
found in the human digestive canal, a very curious form 
of fecundation has been noted. When liberated from 


the egg, it consists simply of a head with hooks, by 
which it attaches itself to the mucous membrane of the 
intestines. From the head grows out a body, which 
shortly divides into segments, which gradually increase 
in number and size. Each section contains both male 
and female sexual organs, and is self-fecundating. After 
a time, the older segments become detached, and lead in- 
dependent lives, until all the ovules they contain have 
been deposited. It has been established that more than 
twenty thousand eggs are produced by a single worm. 

In higher orders of animals, fecundation takes place 
within the generative passages of the female by contact 
between the male and female organs. To effect this, 
there are necessitated certain accessory organs, the penis 
in the male and the vagina in the female. 

Nothing in all the range of nature is more remarka- 
ble than the adaptation of the two varieties of sexual 
organs in each species. This necessary provision is both 
a powerful means of securing the perpetuation of the 
species, and an almost impassible barrier against amal- 

The act of union, or sexual congress, is called coitus, 
or copulation. It is accompanied by a peculiar nervous 
spasm, clue to the excitement of special nerves principally 
located in the penis in the male, and in the clitoris and 
vagina in the female. The nervous action referred to is 
more exhausting to the system than any other to which 
it is subject. 

Union of the Ovum and Zoosperm— The zoosperms 
not only come in contact with the ovum, but penetrate 
the thin membrane which incloses its contents, and 
enter its interior, where they disappear, becoming united 


with its substance. In the ova of certain fishes, small 
openings have been observed, through which the sperma- 
tozoa find entrance. Whether such openings exist in 
human ova, is an undecided question ; but it is probable 
that they do. 

Curious Modes of Reproduction,— A peculiar kind 
of reproduction is observed in a variety of polyp, a 
curious animal which very much resembles a flower in 
appearance. It attaches itself to some solid object, and 
then, as it grows, sends out little protuberances resem- 
bling buds. Some of these separate and fall off, swim- 
ming about as separate animals. These never become 
like the parent polyp ; but they lay eggs, which hatch, 
and become stationary polypi like their grandparent, 
and in their turn throw off buds to form swimming 
polypi. In this case we have two kinds of generation 
combined, alternating with each other. 

Parthenogenesis. — Plant-lice afford a curious illus- 
tration of a similar generation, known as parthenogenesis. 
Males and females unite, and produce eggs. The creat- 
ures produced by the hatching of eggs are neither males 
nor perfect females. They are imperfect females. They 
are all alike, so that no sexual union occurs. Instead of 
laying eggs, they produce live young like themselves, 
which appear to be developed from internal buds similar 
to the external buds of the polyp. After this method of 
reproduction has continued for nine generations, a few 
perfect individuals appear, and the first process is re- 
peated. While this budding process has been going on, 
the original insect has continued laying ; and so great is 
the rapidity of this form of reproduction that it has been 
estimated that even at the end of the fifth generation, a 


single insect may be the great great grandmother of 
nearly six billion young ones. 

The common honey-bee affords another illustration 
like the last. A virgin queen sometimes lays eggs, 
which always produce males, or drones. After union 
with a male, she lays eggs in the royal cells, and these 
become perfect females like herself. She also seems to 
have ' the power to lay, at will, unfecundated eggs, from 
which drones are produced. 

An analogous mode of reproduction prevails among 
certain species of worms, which multiply by simple 
division of the body, one portion producing the head, and 
the other the tail. The individuals thus produced have 
no sex, and may be called neuters. They go on and on 
reproducing in this way for several generations, until 
finally a new individual is produced which is sexually 
complete and reproduction by means of eggs is again 

Human Beings are Developed Buds.— It has been 
very aptly suggested by an eminent physiologist that the 
ovum and zoosperm may be correctly considered as 
internal buds. Thus it would appear that generation is 
universally a process of budding. A child is but a com- 
pound bud, an offshoot from its parents. This idea is 
not a mere fancy, but has a scientific basis. As all the 
exquisite details of the most beautiful flower are in 
essence contained within the tiny bud which first makes 
its appearance, so is the developed human being, the 
full-grown man or woman, virtually contained within the 
tiny cell called the ovum after it has been impregnated 
or fecundated by the zoosperms. In short, men and 
women are blossoms in a strictly scientific sense. 


The process of fecundation in hermaphrodite animals 
is very peculiar. In some cases, as in the snail, the 
union of two individuals is usually necessary, though 
each possesses both kinds of organs. In other cases, as 
in the tape-worm, the oyster, and numerous other 
mollusks, a single individual has the power to fertilize 
its own ova, thus being wholly independent. Human 
hermaphrodites are usually so deformed that fecundation 
is not effected, which is a fortunate safeguard against 
the multiplication of such monstrosities. 

Complemental Males, — One species of barnacle was 
for some time quite a puzzle to the zoologist, as no male 
of the species could be found, hence no means by which 
the eggs produced by the egg-bearing, or female, animal 
could be fecundated. At last, Prof. Darwin discovered, 
snugly hidden away in the corner of a little pocket in 
the female, the male animal, so unlike the female that it 
had never been suspected as having any relationship; 
but it proved, on examination by dissection, to be a fully 
developed male. In some varieties of this queer species, 
the female has been observed carrying in this little 
pocket two or three of these diminutive males. 

Development. — After the union of the two elements, 
known as fecundation, or conception, if the conditions are 
favorable, development occurs ; and the little germ is in 
due process of time developed into an individual which 
is an exact counterpart of its parents. During this de- 
velopmental process, the embryonic being is variously 
treated by different classes of animals. 

Unprotected Development. — Most fishes and reptiles 
discharge their ova before fecundation, or soon after, and 
pay no further attention to them. The fish deposits its 


eggs in a little hollow scooped out in the gratelly bed 
of a stream, or sows them broadcast upon the waters. 
The turtle buries its eggs in the sand, and leaves them 
to be hatched by the sun. The ostrich disposes of her 
eggs in the same way. Many other species of animals 
pay no regard to the protection of the germs which are 
destined, if placed under favorable conditions, to become 
individuals like themselves. 

Partial Protection of the Ovum.— There are some 
exceptions, however, to this general rule among fishes 
and reptiles. Even fishes manifest a degree of parental 
solicitude in certain cases. The male of a species of 
South American fish gathers up the eggs after fecunda- 
tion has taken place, and carries them in his mouth until 
they are hatched. Another male fish carries the eggs 
of his mate in a little pouch upon the lower and pos- 
terior part of his body. 

Certain species of frogs carry their eggs wound about 
their legs ; others suspend them from the abdomen. 
Another variety carries its young upon its back. Prof. 
Wyman describes a " swamp toad " which patiently takes 
the eggs of his mate, one by one, and fastens them upon 
her back, observing great regularity in arrangement. 
These several devices are evidently for the purpose of 
protecting, in some degree, the young individuals dur- 
ing the helpless stage of their existence. 

The eggs of sharks, which are few in number, are 
each provided with a horny covering and four filament- 
ous attachments resembling the tendrils of a grape-vine, 
by which they become entangled among the sea-weeds, 
and are thus protected. 

The cuttle-fish covers its eggs between the folds of 
its queerly shaped body. 


Some species of fish gather their eggs together in 
masses, and surround them by a protective covering. 
A species of worm carries a whole colony of little ones 
upon its back. Even the star-fish protects its eggs 
with its arms ; and if they become scattered, gathers 
them up. 

Development in the Higher Animals and Man. — 
Higher animals are less prolific, and their development 
is a more complicated process ; hence, their young 
need greater protection; and for this reason, the ova, 
instead of being discharged from the body of the female 
after fecundation, are retained. 

Curious examples of internal development sometimes 
occur in animals which usually deposit eggs. Snakes 
have been known to produce both eggs and living 
young at the same time. At the annual meeting of 
the American Society for the Advancement of Science, 
at Detroit, Mich., in August, 1875, we had the pleas- 
ure of examining a specimen, exhibited by Prof. Wilder, 
of a chick which had undergone a considerable degree 
of development within the ovary of the hen. It had 
a head, a rudimentary brain, and internal viscera, but 
no feathers nor limbs. It was, in fact, an egg hatched 
before it had been laid. The anomaly excited much in- 
terest at that time, and since, among biologists. 

As we have seen that a suitable receptacle is some- 
times provided outside of the body, so now a receptacle 
is needed, and is provided in the interior of the body of 
the female. This receptacle is called — 

The Uterus. — This is a hollow, pear-shaped organ, 
located in the median line, just behind the bladder, 
between it and the rectum. It is supported in place 


by various ligaments, and by the juxtaposition of other 
organs. Its larger end is directed upward, and com- 
municates upon each side with a very narrow tube, 
which is prolonged outward on either side until it 
nearly touches the ovary of the same side. Its lower 
and smaller end fills the internal extremity of the pas- 
sage previously described as the vagina. When the ovum 
is matured, it escapes from the ovary into the narrow 
tube referred to, called the Fallopian tube, and passes 
down into the cavity of the uterus. If fecundation 
does not occur, it is expelled or absorbed after six to 
twelve or fourteen days. If copulation occurs, how- 
ever, zoosperms are brought into the cavity of the 
uterus, and, coming in contact with the ovum, fecun- 
date it. This is conception. When the natural process 
is allowed to proceed, development occurs. 

Grestation, or Pregnancy.— This is the term applied 
to the process last referred to. We shall not at- 
tempt to describe in detail this most wonderful and in- 
tricate of all living processes ; but will sketch only the 
chief points, leaving the reader who would obtain a 
more complete knowledge of the subject, to consult any 
one of the numerous physiological and obstetrical works 
which deal with it in a very exhaustive manner. 

As soon as the ovum is impregnated by the male 
element, it begins a process of symmetrical division. 
The first division produces two cells out of the single 
one which first existed. By the next division, four 
segments are produced ; then eight, sixteen, etc. While 
this process is going on, the ovum becomes adherent to 
the internal wall of the uterus, and is soon enveloped 
by its mucous membrane, which grows up about it and 
incloses it. 


The Primitive Trace. — When the process of segmen- 
tation has advanced to a certain point, the cells are ag- 
gregated together in a compact layer at the surface. 
Soon a straight line appears upon this layer, which is 
called the primitive trace. This delicate line becomes 
the basis for the spinal column ; and upon and about it 
the whole individual is developed by an intricate process 
of folding, dividing, and reduplication of the layer of 
cells. One end of the line becomes the head, and the 
other becomes the tail. Even man has a caudal 
appendage at an early stage of his existence. After a 
further lapse of time, little excrescences, buds, or 
" pads " appear in the proper positions to represent the 
arms and legs. After further development, the ends 
split up into fingers and toes, and by the continued 
development of the parts, perfect arms and legs are 

Curious Relation to Lower Animals, — It is a very 
remarkable fact that in the lower animals we have 
numerous examples in which the permanent condition of 
the individual is the same as some one of the stages 
through which man passes in the process of development. 
The same author previously quoted makes the following 
interesting statements : — 

" The webbed feet of the seal and ornithorhynchus 
typify the period when the hands and feet of the human 
embryo are as yet only partly subdivided into fingers 
and toes. Indeed, it is not uncommon for the c web ' to 
persist to some extent between the toes of adults ; and 
occasionally children are born with two or more fingers 
or toes united to their tips. 

" With the seal and the walrus, the limbs are pro 


traded but little beyond the wrist and ankle. With the 
ordinary quadrupeds, the knee and elbow are visible. 
The cats, the lemurs, and the monkeys form a series in 
which the limbs are successively freed from the trunk, 
and in the highest apes they are capable of nearly the 
same movements as the human arm and leg, which, in 
their development, passed through all these stages." 

Simplicity of Early Structures.— The first structures 
formed are exceedingly simple in form. It is only by 
slow degrees that the great complicity which character- 
izes many organs is finally attained. For example, the 
heart is at first only a straight tube. By enlargement 
and the formation of longitudinal and transverse parti- 
tions, the fully developed organ is finally produced. 
The stomach and intestines are also at first but a simple 
straight tube. The stomach and large intestine are 
formed by dilatation; and by growth of the tube in 
length while the ends are confined, the small intestines 
are formed. The other internal organs are successively 
developed by similar processes. 

The Stages of Growth. — At first, insignificant m 
size, a simple cell, the embryonic human being steadily 
increases in size, gradually approximating more and 
more closely to the human form, until, at the end of 
about nine calendar months, or ten lunar months, the 
new individual is prepared to enter the world, and begin 
a more independent course of life. The following con- 
densation of a summary quoted by Dr. Austin Flint, Jr., 
will give an idea of the size of the developing being at 
different periods, and the rate of progress : — 

At the end of the third week, the embryon is a little 
less than one-fourth of an inch in length. 


At the end of the seventh week, it is three-fourths of 
an inch long. The liver, lungs, and other internal organs 
are partially formed. 

At the eighth week, it is about one inch in length. 
It begins to look some like a human being, but it is im- 
possible to determine the sex. 

At the third month, the embryon has attained the 
length of from two to two and one-half inches. Its weight 
is about one ounce. 

At the end of the fourth month, the embryon is 
called a fetus. It is from four to five inches long, and 
weighs five ounces. 

At the fifth month, the fetus is nearly a foot long, 
and weighs about half a pound. 

At the sixth month, the average length of the fetus 
is about thirteen inches, and its weight one and a half to 
two pounds. If born, life could continue a few minutes. 

At the seventh month, the fetus is from fourteen to 
fifteen inches long, and weighs from two to three pounds. 
It is now viable (may live if born) . 

At the eighth month, the length of the fetus is from 
fifteen to sixteen inches, and its weight from three to 
four pounds. 

At the ninth month, the fetus is about seventeen 
inches long, and weighs from five to six pounds. 

At birth, the infant weighs a little more than seven 
pounds, the usual range being from four to ten pounds, 
though these limits are sometimes exceeded. 

Duration of Gestation. — The length of time required 
for the development of a human being is usually reckoned 
as about forty weeks. A more precise statement places 
it at about two hundred and seventy-eight days. This 


limit is often varied from. Cases have occurred in 
which a much longer time has been required ; and num- 
berless cases are recorded in which human beings have 
been born several weeks before the expiration of the 
usual time, as stated. There is some uncertainty re- 
specting the exact length of the period of gestation, 
which grows out of the difficulty of determining, in many 
cases, the exact time when conception took place. 

In the kangaroo, though the period required for de- 
velopment is about the same as in the human female, 
uterine gestation continues for only thirty-nine days. 
At the end of this time, the infant kangaroo is transferred 
to a pouch provided under the hinder part of the body 
of the mother, which also contains the mammary glands. 
To the nipple of one of these the lips of the young ani- 
mal become attached, and by a curious rhythmical ac- 
tion of certain muscles, the paternal nourishment is reg- 
ularly forced into the mouth of the little one. The 
eminent Prof. Owen thus remarks concerning this remark- 
able mode of caring for the young : — 

" Thus aided and protected by modifications of struct- 
ure, both in the system of the mother and in its own, 
designed with special reference to each others' peculiar 
condition, and affording, therefore, the most irrefragible 
evidence of creative foresight, the feeble offspring con- 
tinues to increase from sustenance derived exclusively 
from the mother, for a period of about eight months. 
The young kangaroo may then frequently be seen to pro- 
trude its head from the mouth of the pouch, and to crop 
the grass at the same time the mother is browsing. 
Having thus acquired additional strength, it quits the 
pouch, and hops at first with a feeble and vacillating 


gait, but continues to return to the pouch for occasional 
shelter and supplies of food, until it has attained the 
weight of ten pounds. After this, it will occasionally 
insert its head for the purpose of sucking, notwithstand- 
ing another fetus may have been deposited in the pouch ; 
for the latter attaches itself to a different nipple from the 
one which has previously been in use." 

Uterine Life. — The uterine life of the new individual 
begins with the impregnation of the ovum, which occurs 
the instant it is brought in contact with the zoosperms 
of the male. While in the uterus, the young life is sup- 
ported wholly by the mother. She is obliged to provide 
not only for her own sustenance, but for the maintenance 
of her child. And she must not only eat for it, but 
breathe for it as well, since it requires a constant and 
adequate supply of oxygen before birth as much as 

How the Unborn Infant Breathes.— Oxygen and 
nutriment are both supplied to it through the medium of 
an organ called the placenta^ which is a spongy growth, 
composed almost entirely of blood-vessels, and is devel- 
oped upon the inner wall of the uterus, at the point 
where the ovum attaches itself after fecundation. The 
growing fetus is connected with this vascular organ by 
means of a sort of cable, called the umbilical cord. The 
cord is almost entirely composed of blood-vessels, which 
convey the blood of the fetus to the placenta, and return 
it again. The fetal blood does not mix with that of the 
mother, but receives oxygen and nourishment from it by 
absorption through the thin walls which alone separate 
it from the mother's blood. 

The umbilical cord contains no nerves, as there is no 


nervous connection between the mother and the child. 
The only way in which the child can be influenced by 
the mother is through the medium of the blood, to 
changes in which it is very susceptible, as we shall see 
more clearly hereafter. 

The cord is attached to the body of the child at the 
point called the navel, being cut off at birth by the accou- 
cheur. With the placenta, it is expelled soon after the 
birth of the child, and constitutes the shapeless mass fa- 
miliarly known as the after-birth^ by the retention of 
which the most serious trouble is occasionally caused. 

Parturition, or Childbirth. — At the end of the pe- 
riod of development, the young being is forcibly expelled 
from the laboratory of nature in which it has been formed. 
In other words, it is born ; and this process is termed 
parturition. Though at first thought such an act would 
seem an utter impossibility, yet it is a very admiraole 
illustration of nature's adaptation of means to ends. 
During the months of gestation, while the uterus has 
been enlarging to accommodate its daily increasing con- 
tents, the generative passages have also been increasing 
in size, and becoming soft and distensible, so that a 
seeming impossibility is in due time accomplished with- 
out physical damage, though possibly not without intense 
suffering. However, it is a most gratifying fact that 
modern medical science may do much to mitigate the 
pains of childbirth. It is possible, by a proper course 
of preparation for the expected event, to greatly lessen 
the suffering usually undergone ; and some ladies assert 
that they have thus avoided real pain altogether. Al- 
though the curse pronounced upon the feminine part of 
the race, in consequence of the sin of Eve, implies suffer- 


ing in the parturient act, yet there is no doubt that the 
greater share of the daughters of Eve are, through the 
perverting and degenerating influences of wrong habits, 
and especially of modern civilization, compelled to suffer 
many times more than their maternal ancestor. We 
have sufficient evidence of this in the fact that among 
barbarian women, who are generally less perverted phys- 
ically than civilized women, childbirth is regarded with 
very little apprehension, since it occasions little pain or 
inconvenience. The same is true of many women among 
the lower laboring classes. In short, while it is true 
that more or less suffering must always accompany the 
parturient act, yet the excessive pain usually attendant 
upon the process is the result of causes which can in many 
cases be removed by proper management beforehand and 
at the time of confinement. 

After being relieved of its contents, the uterus and 
other organs rapidly return to nearly their original size. 

Changes in the Child at Birth,— In the system of 
the child a wonderful change occurs at the moment of 
its expulsion into the outer world. For the first time, 
its lungs are filled with air. For the first time, they re- 
ceive the full tide of blood. The whole course of the 
circulation is changed, and an entirely new process be- 
gins. It is surprising in how short a space of time 
changes so marvelous can be wrought. 

Nursing, — The process of development is not fully 
complete at birth. The young life is not yet prepared 
to support itself; hence, still further provision is neces- 
sary for it. It requires prepared food suited to its con- 
dition. This is provided by the mammce, or breasts, of 
the female, which are glands for secreting milk. The 


fully developed gland is peculiar to the female ; but a 
few instances have been known in which it has been 
sufficiently developed to become functionally active in 
men, as well as in young girls, though it is usually inac- 
tive even in women until near the close of gestation. 
It is a curious fact that the breasts of a new-born child 
occasionally contain milk. 

The first product of the mammse is not the proper 
milk secretion, but is a yellowish fluid, called colostrum. 
The true milk secretion begins two or three days after 

The lacteal secretion is influenced in a very remark- 
able manner by the mental conditions of the mother. 
By sudden emotions of grief or anger, it has been 
known to undergo such changes as to produce in the 
child a fit of indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea, and even 
convulsions and death. Any medicine taken by the 
mother finds its way into the milk, and often affects 
the delicate system of the infant more than herself. 
This fact should be a warning to those nursing moth- 
ers who use stimulants. Cases are not uncommon in 
which delicate infants are kept in a state of intoxica- 
tion for weeks by the use of alcoholic drinks by the 
mother. The popular notion that lager-beer, ale, wine, 
or alcohol in any other form, is in any degree neces- 
sary or beneficial to a nursing woman, is a great 
error, which cannot be too often noticed and condemned. 
Not only is the mother injured instead of being bene- 
fited by such a practice, but great injury, sometimes 
life-long in its consequence, is inflicted upon the babe 
at the breast, who takes the intoxicating poison second 
hand, and is influenced in a fourfold degree because of 
its feebleness and great susceptibility. 

sex nr living forms. 79 


Having now considered the functions and something 
of the structure of the principal organs of reproduction, 
we may obtain a more definite idea of the relation of 
the several organs of each class by a connected review 
of the anatomy of the parts. 

Male Organs. — As previously stated, the external 
organs of generation in the male are the penis and the 
testicles, the latter being contained in a pouch, called 
the scrotum. The penis is the organ of urination as 
well as of copulation. Its structure is cellular, and it 
contains a vast number of minute coils of blood-ves- 
sels, which become turgid with blood under the in- 
fluence of sexual excitement, producing distention and 
erection of the organ. A canal passes through its en- 
tire length, called the urethra, which conveys both the 
urine and the seminal fluid. The organ is protected by 
a loose covering of integument, which folds over the 
end. This fold is called the foreskin, or prepuce. 

The fluid formed by each testicle is conveyed by the 
vas deferens, a curved tube about two feet in length, to 
the base of the bladder. Here the vas deferens joins 
with another duct, which communicates with an elon- 
gated pouch, the vesicula seminalis, lying close to the un- 
der side of the bladder. The single tube thus formed, 
the ejaculatory duct, conveys the seminal fluid to the ure- 
thra, from which it is discharged. 

As the production of seminal fluid is more or less 
constant in man and some animals, while its discharge is 


intermittent, the vesiculse seminales serve as reservoirs 
for the fluid, preserving it until required, or allowing 
it to undergo absorption. Some claim that the zoo- 
sperms are matured in these organs. They always con- 
tain seminal fluid after the age of puberty. During 
coition, their contents are forcibly expelled by a spas- 
modic contraction of the muscles which surround them 
and the ducts leading from them. 

The Prostate Gland. — Surrounding the ejaculatory 
ducts and their openings into the urethra at the base of 
the bladder, is the prostate gland, which produces a pecul- 
iar secretion that forms a considerable portion of the 
seminal fluid, being mingled with the secretion of the 
testes during its ejaculation. This gland sometimes be- 
comes the seat of rather serious disease. In old age, it 
usually 'becomes slightly indurated, and often to such an 
extent as to seriously affect the health and comfort of 
the individual by interference with urination and by 
occasioning pain. 

Anterior to this organ, in the urethra, is a curious 
little pouch, the utriculus, which corresponds to the 
vagina and uterus in the female. Just in front of the 
prostate gland are two small bodies, known as Cowpers 
glands. They secrete a fluid which combines with the 
seminal secretion. 

Female Organs, — The ovaries, uterus or tvomb, Fal- 
lopian tubes, and vagina have already been described in 
part. The external organs of the female are included in 
the term vulva, or pudenda. The most superficial parts 
are the labia, two thick folds of integument. Just 
within these two are thinner folds, the labia minora, or 
nymphce. These, together with the clitoris, situated just 


above, are extremely sensitive organs, being the chief 
seat of sexual sense in the female. At the lower part 
is the opening to the vagina, which in the virgin is 
usually partially guarded by a thin membrane, the 
hymen. This is not always a reliable test of virginity, 
however, as commonly regarded, since it may be de- 
stroyed by disease or accident, and may exist even after 
the occurrence of pregnancy. 

The vagina extends from the vulva to the lower end 
of the uterus, which it incloses, passing between the 
bladder and the rectum. The lower extremity of the 
uterus presents a small opening, which leads into its 
interior. Upon either side, at its upper and larger end, 
is a minute opening, the mouth of the Fallopian tube. 
The latter organs extend from the uterus outward nearly 
to the ovaries, toward which they present a number of 
small filaments, one of which is in contact with each 
ovary. These filaments, together with the interior of 
the tubes, are covered with a peculiar kind of cells, upon 
which are minute cilia, or hairs, in constant motion. 
Very curiously, they all move in the same direction, 
toward the cavity of the uterus. When an ovum 
escapes from the ovary in connection with menstruation, 
it is by these delicate hairs propelled along a filament of 
tissue to the Fallopian tube, and thence by the same 
means is conveyed to the uterus. It may come in con- 
tact with the zoosperms at any point between the ovary 
and the lower orifice of the uterus, and thus undergo 

Puberty, — For a certain period after birth, the sex- 
ual organs remain in a partially developed condition. 
This period varies in duration with different animals, in 


some cases being very brief, in others, comprising sev- 
eral years. Upon the attainment of a certain age, the 
individual becomes sexually perfect, and is then capable 
of the generative act. This period is called pube?ii/. 

In man, puberty commonly occurs between the ages 
of ten and fifteen years, varying considerably in differ- 
ent climates. In this country, and in other countries of 
about the same latitude, puberty usually occurs at the 
age of fourteen or fourteen and one-half years in females, 
and a few months later in males. In cooler climates, as 
in Norway and Siberia, the change is delayed to the age 
of eighteen or nineteen years. In tropical climates it is 
hastened, occurring as early as nine or ten years. In 
warm climates it is no uncommon thing for a girl to be 
a mother at twelve ; and it is stated that one of the 
wives of Mahomet was a mother at ten. 

Other causes besides climate tend to hasten the 
occurrence of this change, as habits, temperament, con- 
stitutional tendency, education, and idiosyncrasy. 

Causes which Delay Puberty —Habits of vigorous 
physical exercise tend to delay puberty. For this rea- 
son, together with others, country boys and girls gener- 
ally mature later than those living in the city by several 
months, and even a year or two. Anything that tends 
to excite the emotions, hastens puberty. The excitements 
of city life, parties, balls, theaters, even the competition 
of students in school, and the various causes of excite- 
ment to the nervous system which occur in city life, 
have a tendency to hasten the occurrence of the change 
which awakens the sexual activities of the system into 
life. Hence, these influences cannot but be considered 
prejudicial to the best interests of the individual, men- 


tally, morally, and physically, since it is in every way 
desirable that a change which arouses the passions and 
gives to them greater intensity, should be delayed rather 
than hastened. 

Influence of Diet on Puberty,— The dietary has a 
not unimportant influence in this respect. Stimulating 
foods, such as pepper, vinegar, mustard, spices, and con- 
diments generally, together with tea and coffee, and an 
excess of animal food, have a clearly appreciable influence 
in inducing the premature occurrence of puberty. On 
this account, if on no other, should these articles be 
prohibited to children and youth, or used very sparingly. 
Those who advocate the large use of meat by children 
and youth, have not studied this matter closely in all its 
bearings. While it is true that children and growing 
youth require an abundance of the nitrogenous elements 
of food which are found abundantly in beefsteak, mutton, 
fish, and other varieties of animal food, it is also true 
that in taking these articles of food, they take, along 
with the nutrient elements, properties of a stimulating 
character, which exert a decidedly detrimental influence 
upon the susceptible systems of children and youth. At 
the same time, it is possible to obtain the same desirable 
nitrogenous elements in oatmeal, unbolted wheat flour, 
peas, beans, and other vegetable productions, which are 
wholly free from injurious properties. We are positive, 
from numerous observations on this subject, that a cool, 
unstimulating vegetable or farinaceous diet would deter 
the development of the sexual organism for several 
months, and perhaps for a year or two. 

While it might not be in all cases desirable to do 
this, it would at least be wise to adopt such measures in 


cases in which the child is unavoidably exposed to influ- 
ences which have a tendency to hasten the change. 

A Caution, — It is important to add in this connection 
a word of caution against the adoption of a dietary too 
abstemious in character. It is necessary that an abun- 
dance of good, wholesome food, rich in the elements of 
nutrition, should be taken regularly. There is no doubt 
that many young ladies have induced conditions of serious 
disease by actual starvation of the system. A young 
woman who attempts to live on strong tea or coffee, fine- 
flour bread, and sweet cake, is as certainly starving her- 
self as though she were purposely attempting to commit 
suicide by starvation, and with as much certainty of the 
same result. 

Brunettes Precocious, — It has been observed that 
in girls the occurrence of puberty is earlier in brunettes 
than in blondes ; and in general, it makes its appearance 
earlier in persons of a nervous or nervo-bilious tempera- 
ment than in persons of a lymphatic temperament or 
phlegmatic nature. 

Certain nationalities and families are marked by the 
earlier occurrence of puberty than others. In Jews, 
the change is commonly a year or two in advance of 
other nationalities in this country. It also occurs some- 
what sooner in negroes or Creoles than in white persons, 
the African race seeming to retain something of the pre- 
cocity occasioned by the tropical influence of its native 

Remarkable Precocity, — Cases occasionally occur in 
which puberty makes its appearance at the age of three 
or four years. Indeed, a case has been reported in this 
country in which a female child possessed at birth all 


the characteristics which are usually developed at pu- 
berty. In this case the regular periodical changes began 
at birth. 

Premature Development Occasions Early Decay. — 
A fact which is of too great importance to be allowed to 
pass unnoticed, is that whatever occasions early or prema- 
ture sexual development, also occasions premature decay. 
Females in whom puberty occurs at the age of ten or 
twelve, by the time their age is doubled, are shriveled 
and wrinkled with age. At the time when they should 
be in their prime of health and beauty, they are prema- 
turely old and broken. Those women who mature late, 
retain their beauty and their strength many years after 
their precocious sisters have become old, decrepit, and 
broken down. Thus, the matrons of thirty and forty 
years in colder climates are much more attractive in ap- 
pearance than the maidens of sixteen ; while quite the 
reverse is true in this and other countries where sexual 
development is unduly hastened. 

Early Puberty a Cause for Anxiety.— The unnatu- 
rally early appearance of puberty is a just cause for ap- 
prehension, since it usually indicates an inherent weak- 
ness of the constitution. When there are reasons for 
fearing its occurrence, active measures should be taken 
to occasion delay if possible. We call especial attention 
to this point, since there are many who erroneously 
suppose the early occurrence of puberty to be a sign of 
superior vigor. 

Changes which Occur at Puberty. — The changes 
which occur in the two sexes at this period have been 
thus described : — 

" In both sexes, hair grows on the skin covering the 


symphysis pubis, around the sexual organs, and in the 
axillae (armpits). In man, the chest and shoulders 
broaden, the larynx enlarges, and the voice becomes 
lower in pitch from the elongation of the vocal cords ; 
hair grows upon the chin, upper lip, and cheeks, and 
often exists upon the general surface of the body more 
abundantly than in woman." The sexual organs undergo 
enlargement, and are more frequently excited. The 
testicles first begin the secretion of the seminal fluid. 

" In woman, the pelvis and abdomen enlarge, but the 
whole frame remains more slender, the muscles and 
joints less prominent, the limbs more rounded and 
tapering [than in the male]. Locally, both external 
and internal organs undergo a considerable and rapid 
enlargement. The mammae enlarge, the ovarian vesicles 
become dilated, and there is established a periodical 
discharge of one or more ova, accompanied, in most 
cases, by a sanguineous fluid from the cavity of the 

These changes, so varied and extraordinary, often 
occur within a very short space of time ; and as they 
are liable to serious derangement, especially in the 
female, great care should be taken to secure for the 
individual the most favorable conditions until they are 
successfully effected. It is, however, a fact deserving 
of mention, that many of the ills which are developed at 
this particular period are quite as much the result of 
previous indiscretions and mismanagements as of any 
immediate cause. A few suggestions with regard to the 
proper treatment of individuals at this age may be in 
place : — 

I. Do not allow the boy or girl to be overworked, 


either mentally or physically. Great and important 
changes are occurring within the body, and nature should 
not be overtaxed. 

2. Keep the mind occupied. While excessive labor 
should be avoided, idleness should be as carefully 
shunned. Some light, useful employment or harmless 
amusement — better some kind of work — should keep 
the mind fully occupied with wholesome subjects. 

3. Abundant exercise out-of-doors is essential for 
both sexes. Sunshine and fresh air are as necessary to 
the development of a human being as for the expanding 
of a flower bud. 

4. Watch carefully the associations of the youth. 
This should be done at all times, but especially just at 
the critical period in question, when the general physical 
disturbances occurring in the system react upon the 
mind, and make it peculiarly susceptible to influences 
of every sort, especially those of an evil character. 

5. None too much care can be exercised at this 
important epoch of human life, provided it is properly 
applied ; but nothing could be more disastrous in its 
consequences than a weak solicitude which panders to 
every whim and gratifies every perverted appetite. 
Such care is a fatal error. 

Menstruation.— The functional changes which occur 
in the female are much more marked than those of the 
male. As already intimated, the periodical development 
and discharge of an ovum by the female, which occurs 
after puberty, is accompanied by the discharge of a 
bloody fluid, which is known as the flowers, menses, or 
catamenia. The accompanying symptoms together are 
termed the process of menstruation, or being unwell. This 


usually occurs, in the human female, once in about four 
weeks. In special cases, the interval may be a week 
less or a week longer; or the variation may be even 
greater. Dalton describes the process as follows : — 

" When the expected period is about to come on, the 
female is affected by a certain degree of discomfort and 
lassitude, a sense of weight in the pelvis, and more or 
less disinclination to society. These symptoms are in 
some cases slightly pronounced, in others more trouble- 
some. An unusual discharge of vaginal mucus then 
begins to take place, which soon becomes yellowish or 
misty brown in color, from the admixture of a certain 
proportion of blood ; and by the second or third day, the 
discharge has the appearance of nearly pure blood. The 
unpleasant sensations which were at first manifest, then 
usually subside ; and the discharge, after continuing for 
a certain period, begins to grow more scanty. Its color 
changes from a pure red to a brownish or rusty tinge, 
until it finally disappears altogether, and the female 
returns to her ordinary condition." 

The menstrual function continues active from puberty 
to about the forty-fifth year, or during the period of 
fertility. When it finally disappears, the woman is no 
longer capable of bearing children. The time of disap- 
pearance is termed the " change of life," or menopause. 
Exceptional cases occur in which this period is greatly 
hastened, arriving as early as the thirty-fifth year, or 
even earlier. Instances have also been observed in 
which menstruation continued as late as the sixtieth 
year, and even later ; but such cases are very rare ; and 
if procreation occurs, the progeny is feeble and senile. 

With rare exceptions, the function is suspended 


during pregnancy, and usually, also, during the period 
of nursing. 

Nature of Menstruation.— There has been a great 
amount of speculation concerning the cause and nature 
of the menstrual process. No entirely satisfactory con- 
clusions have been reached, however, except that it is 
usually accompanied by the maturation and expulsion 
from the ovary of an ovum, which is termed ovulation. 
But menstruation may occur without ovulation, and vice 

Menstruation is not peculiar to the human female, 
being represented in the higher animals by what is famil- 
iarly termed " the rut." This is not usually a bloody 
discharge, however, as in the human female, though 
such a discharge has been observed in the monkey. 

It has been quite satisfactorily settled that the dis- 
charge of the ovum from the ovary generally takes place 
about the time of the cessation of the flow. Immedi- 
ately after the discharge, the sexual desires of the female 
are more intense than at other times. This fact is par- 
ticularly manifest in lower animals. The following 
remark by Prof. Dalton is especially significant to those 
who care to appreciate its bearing : — 

" It is a remarkable fact, in this connection, that the 
female of these [domestic] animals will allow the ap- 
proaches of the male only during and immediately after 
the oestrual period [rut] ; that is, just when the egg is 
recently discharged, and ready for impregnation. At 
other times, when sexual intercourse would be necessa- 
rily fruitless, the instinct of the animal leads her to 
avoid it ; and the concourse of the sexes is accordingly 
made to correspond in time with the maturity of the 
egg and its aptitude for fecundation." 


The amount of fluid lost during the menstrual flow 
varies greatly with different individuals. It is estimated 
at from three ounces to half a pint. In cases of deranged 
function, it may be much greater than this. It is not 
all blood, however, a considerable portion being mucus. 
It is rather difficult to understand why the discharge of 
so considerable a quantity of blood is required. There 
is no benefit derived from a very copious discharge, as 
some suppose. Facts seem to indicate that in general, 
those enjoy the best health who lose but small quanti- 
ties of blood in this manner. 

Some recent observations respecting the nature of 
menstruation, have unsettled the old theories respect- 
ing this function, and given rise to much discussion. 
The most plausible theory, and one which differs very 
materially from the old, is that of Loewenthal. The 
views promulgated by this author are of so much interest 
that we take this opportunity of presenting them at 
some length in the following translation recently pub- 
lished in the Detroit Lancet : — 

1. Menstruation recurs periodically. It is marked 
by an individual periodicity. Any deviation from the 
ordinary rhythm (due to strong psychical influences, 
changes of the mode of life, etc.) will, in a short time 
after removal of the cause, return to the special normal 

2. The kind and duration of the flow is different in 
different women. 

3. Anatomical and physiological changes take place 
in the mucous membrane of the uterus as follows : — 

(a.) There is a thickening of the mucous membrane, 
which commences about ten days before the menstrua- 


tion, and is analogous to decidual formation in the 
early stages of pregnancy. 

(b.) During the flaw, disintegration of the outer 
layer of the mucous membrane takes place, which is 
completed in ten days. 

(c.) The swelling of the mucous membrane at first 
takes place especially in the outer layer, and affects the 
lymph vessels, which are dilated, and not the blood- 
vessels ; the latter only enlarge at a later period, that is, 
just before the flow commences. Congestion does not 
cause the thickening of the mucous membrane. 

(d.) The increase in the thickness of the mucous 
membrane is confined to the body of the uterus ; the 
cervix is not involved. 

(e.) The other sexual organs, and the system in 
general, are influenced more or less by the menstrual 
process. The ovaries (one or the other) increase in 
size, due to a ripe Graafian follicle ready to burst. 
This does not take place during the time that the mem- 
brane swells, but at the time of the flow of blood. 

During the menstrual process we have infiltration 
and swelling for ten days, then hemorrhage for four to 
five days, and finally return to the normal, restitutio ad 
integrum , for four to five days, the whole process occu- 
pying about twenty days. The infiltration and swelling 
must, under all circumstances, be looked upon as the 
primary impulse, as the flow of blood can only take 
place after the former has existed for some time. 

As the different theories do not explain the many 
phenomena of menstruation, especially the two factors, — 
that the congestion and hemorrhage cause the rupture 
of a Graafian follicle, or that the latter causes the hemor- 


rhage, — we must conclude that a third factor plays an 
important part, and that this third factor is the product 
of ovulation, — the unimpregnated ovule. 

The whole menstrual process might be considered as 
follows : — 

1. The Graafian follicle ruptures, and the ovule 
passes down into the uterus. 

2. In the first appropriate fold of the uterine mucous 
membrane (generally near the mouth of the tube), the 
ovule is imbedded, and causes by its presence a swelling 
of the mucous membrane ; that is, the menstrual de- 

3. If the ovule becomes impregnated, the menstrual 
decidua is developed into the true decidua of pregnancy. 

4. If in a certain time, which represents its vitality, 
the ovule is not impregnated, it dies, and thus causes 
congestion and disintegration of the menstrual decidua ; 
that is, the menstrual flow. 

5. The congestion reacts on the cause of its origin, the 
ovaries, and brings about a rupture of a follicle, which, in 
the meantime, has ripened. (This does not exclude any 
other cause which might bring about menstrual conges- 
tion, as a cause of a ruptured follicle.) 

This view not only explains all contradiction, but 
also solves many doubtful questions in a satisfactory 

The basis of this view is : — 

1. That the unimpregnated ovule becomes imbedded. 

2. That after this imbedding, and only then, it has a 
certain limited individual life power. 

Many objections might be urged against this theory. 
Some authorities claim that impregnation always takes 


place at the ovary, and that extra-uterine pregnancy 
tends to prove this ; but as extra-uterine pregnancy 
occurs once in ten thousand cases, the chances are ten 
thousand times greater that impregnation does take place 
in the uterus. Gerbe-Coste have claimed that the ovule 
of a rabbit is covered with an albuminous layer as soon 
as it leaves the Fallopian tubes, and that this layer pre- 
vents the passage through it of spermatozoa; conse- 
quently, impregnation can take place only in the tubes. 
This layer may disappear later, however, as we know 
that nature, instead of preventing impregnation by such 
means, always furnishes aids to facilitate it. Nor can 
we assume that a human being can be compared to the 
lower animals ; but that a fundamental difference exists. 
The lower animals have one or two rutting seasons a 
year, and their power to multiply is limited to this time. 
The human species is always ready to impregnate or 
become impregnated. The rutting season of animals de- 
pends on the duration of pregnancy in every species, 
and is always at such a time that the birth of the young 
takes place when there is an abundance of food. With 
man this is not necessary. He is independent of seasons. 
Male and female animals are in heat at the same time, 
the ovule and the spermatozoa are supplied at the same 
time ; no social obstacles exist ; the female, ready for 
impregnation, is impregnated at the time. In the human 
species, man certainly has no period of heat, and the 
ripe ovule is not brought immediately in contact with 
spermatozoa ; if the power to propagate the species is 
not to be reduced to a minimum, it is necessary that one 
or the other components of reproduction must have a 
longer life power, so that impregnation can take place at 
any time. 


The female element has the undoubted advantage, as 
it furnishes the egg, the material to build up an embryo ; 
while the semen is only a secondary factor, which merely 
starts the development of the ovule. Everything tends 
to prove that the ovule which is not immediately im- 
pregnated, must have an equal, if not a longer life power 
than the semen which is deposited in the genital parts. 
The two components of the future embryo not being 
present at the same time, and impregnation being possible 
at all times, it follows that one must wait for the other. 
The ovule being the larger, and placed in a soil which it 
needs for its future growth, is therefore probably the 
component part which waits for the other, as the sper- 
matozoa are soon destroyed when removed from the 
spermatic canal. If the ovule has to wait for the sper- 
matozoa, it can only do so in the uterus, as it is forced 
there, not having power to move of its own accord, 
whether impregnated before reaching the uterus or not. 

The following conditions are necessary for the em- 
bedding of the ovule and the next menstrual process : — 

1. The ovule must be perfectly ripe. 

2. It must pass from the follicle at a time when it 
has the best chance to soon reach the uterus through the 
Fallopian tubes during menstruation. 

3. The place of imbedding must be ready, and pre- 
pared to form the menstrual decidua. 

If these conditions are not present, the next men- 
struation will be abnormal. To this category belongs 

1. No ripe ovule is developed, or it is of diminished 
vitality, and consequently is not imbedded ; or if imbed- 
ded, after a few hours or days it dies, and a real men- 


strual decidua has not been developed ; consequently no 
hemorrhage takes place. If during the short time the 
ovule is in the uterus, spermatozoa should enter, preg- 
nancy might take place, which explains those rare cases 
of pregnancy occurring during amenorrhoea. During 
lactation, the absence of or weak ovules would explain 
the absence of menstruation, and the occasional occur- 
rence of pregnancy at this time. 

2. If during menstruation, from some cause no ripe 
ovule is present, none can be imbedded, no menstrual 
decidua is formed, and the next menstrual does not ap- 
pear. The menstrual congestion which aids the devel- 
opment of the Graafian follicle and ripening of the ovule 
being absent, the ovules are weak, do not become im- 
bedded, or if they do, die in a short time. The amenor- 
rhoea continues until a strong, healthy ovule is again 
imbedded, and then dies, causing the menstruation. 
This also explains why pregnancy can occur after long- 
continued amenorrhoea. 

3. If the healthy ovule is formed, and passes into 
the uterus, the latter does not allow its imbedding, on 
account of severe endometritis, profuse secretion, etc. 
The physiological amenorrhoea during pregnancy can be 
readily explained in the same manner, the uterus is oc- 
cupied ; and if during persistent development of ovules, 
one should be really imbedded, and become impregnated, 
we would have a case of twin pregnancy, where one 
fetus is fully developed and the other imperfectly ; or a 
case where one child is born a few weeks or months 
after the other. In some women, also, there is no ten- 
dency to hemorrhage ; they have ovulation, but no real 
menstruation; they have, instead, a recurring leucorrhoea, 
so-called "white menstruation." 


Cases occur where two or more causes are present to 
prevent imbedding of an ovule, and to cause amenorrhcea. 

Anomalies of menstruation, such as profuse and 
irregularly recurring hemorrhages, can be readily ex- 
plained, as they have no connection with menstruation 
at all, in fact, often occurring during amenorrhcea, and 
are due to other diseases (tumors, ulcers, displacements, 

The following points also go to prove the correctness 

of the view that the ovule becomes imbedded, etc.: — 

Many observers have recorded that young girls, 
some four weeks before the first appearance of menstru- 
ation, have all the nervous symptoms which are found 
later with every recurring menstruation. A ripe follicle 
has burst, the ovule becomes imbedded, and in four 
weeks causes the first menstruation. 

Immediately after childbirth, ovulation and imbedding 
may take place, as is proven by the occurrence of preg- 
nancy a few weeks after childbirth, and before the 
recurrence of menstruation. The irregularity of men- 
struation before the climacteric period, only proves the 
theory, as the ovule does not have the same extrafollic- 
ular vital power, and the thickening of the albuginea 
often prevents rupture of a Graafian follicle. 

The experiments of Lawson Tait have caused him to 
conclude that the anticipated climacteric period alivays 
occurs with certainty when both tubes arc removed. This 
goes to prove the correctness of the Lcewenthal theory, 
as no ovule can get into the uterus, even if a third ovary 
exist, or some ovarian stroma remains behind, and con- 
sequently menstruation cannot occur. 

The well-founded fact that imprecation is most liable 


to occur immediately after menstruation, also tends to 
prove the correctness of the theory, as the further 
removed from menstruation, the less vital power is 
possessed by the ovule, and pregnancy is not so liable to 

The theory of Lcewenthal leads him to conclude that 
menstruation is not physiological, but pathological, and 
not necessary to health ; that menstrual blood is normal 
blood, and does not contain any poisonous substance 
that must be eliminated from the system ; that in amen- 
orrhoea, emmenagogues are useless or harmful, as some 
constitutional disease (chlorosis, hysteria, etc.) causes 
amenorrhoea; but the latter causes no disease itself. 
Amenorrhoea simply indicates some disease of the sys- 
tem, and should be looked upon as a powerful aid to re- 
invigorate the body, not be fought as a foe. A woman 
is not healthy because she menstruates, but in spite of 
it. He does not want to stop all women from menstru- 
ating, but simply suggests a reform in the treatment of 
the disorders of menstruation. He reports cases of 
chronic invalids with pain and nervous disturbances 
after menstruation, which had been subjected to all 
kinds of treatment without benefit, until he lessened 
menstruation by quiet and hot water injections, with 
wonderful result. The cases all recovered, although he 
checked menstruation so much that only two drachms of 
blood were lost. 

The object is to diminish the hemorrhage as much as 
possible ; it cannot be entirely stopped, as the decay of 
the menstrual decidua will always cause some bleeding, 
but this should be limited to a discharge of bloody 
mucus. 7 


The above quotation embodies views which are cer- 
tainly of great interest from a variety of standpoints, 
and it is to be hoped that they may be confirmed by 
further observations. 

Extra-Uterine Pregnancy. — Sometimes the ovum 
becomes fecundated before reaching the uterus, and in- 
stead of passing onward into that organ as usual, re- 
mains in its position in the Fallopian tube or even on 
the surface of the ovary. Occasionally an ovum falls 
into the cavity of the abdomen instead of passing into 
the tube. Even in this situation it may be fecundated. 
Impregnated ova thus left in abnormal positions, un- 
dergo a greater or less degree of development. They 
commonly result in the death of the mother. 

Twins.— The human female usually matures but one 
ovum at each menstrual period, the two ovaries acting 
alternately. Occasionally two ova are matured at once. 
If fecundation occurs, the result will be a development 
of two embryos at the same time. In rare cases, three 
or even four ova are matured at once, and by fecunda- 
tion, produce a corresponding number of embryos. 
As many as five children have been born alive at one 
birth, but have not lived more than a few minutes. 

The occurrence of multiple pregnancies may be ex- 
plained by the supposition that ova matured subsequent 
to the first fecundation are also fecundated. 

In lower animals, the uterus is often divided into 
two long segments, which afford room for the devel- 
opment of a number of young at once. Some ancient 
writers make most absurd statements with regard to the 
fecundity of women. One declares that the simultane- 
ous birth of seven ov eight infants by the same mother 


was an ordinary occurrence with Egyptian women ! 
Other statements still more extravagant are made by 
writers. For example : A traveler in the seventeenth 
century wrote that he saw, in the year 1630, in a church 
near the Hague, a tablet on which was an inscription 
stating that a certain noted countess gave birth at 
once, in the year 1276, to 365 infants, who were all 
baptized and christened, the males being all called John, 
and the females, Elizabeth. They all died on the day 
of their birth, with their mother, according to the ac- 
count, and were buried in the church, where the tablet 
was erected to their memory. 

Superfetation. — It occasionally happens that a child 
is born of the same mother a few weeks or a few months 
subsequent to the previous childbirth, but not suf- 
ficiently long afterward to make it possible to consider 
the second child the result of a second period of gesta- 
tion. These curious cases are accounted for by the sup- 
position that superfetation may occasionally occur, that 
is, the second ovule may pass down into the womb, and 
become impregnated, some time after the development of 
the first has begun. This certainly must be a very un- 
usual circumstance, but that it has occurred, is attested 
by testimony which cannot be doubted. In one case, 
reported by Dr. Janeway, surgeon in the late war, one 
of two infants born of a mulatto mother under these 
peculiar circumstances was a negro, while the other was 
nearly white, — a fact which offered the most indisput- 
able evidence, not only of the distinct paternity of the 
two infants as to time, but also as to individuals. 

Monsters, — Defects and abnormalities in the devel- 
opment of the embryo produce all degrees of deviation 


from the typical human form. Excessive development 
may result in an extra finger or toe, or in the pro- 
duction of some peculiar excrescence. Deficiency of 
development may produce all degrees of abnormality 
from the simple hare-lip to the most frightful deficiency , 
as the absence of a limb, or even of a head. It is in 
this manner that those unfortunate individuals known 
as hermaphrodites are formed. An excessive develop- 
ment of some parts of the female generative organs 
gives them a great degree of similarity to the external 
organs of the male. A deficient development of the 
masculine organs renders them similar in appearance to 
those of the female. Excessive development, shown in a 
peculiar manner, produces both kinds of organs in the 
same individuals in a state more or less complete. 

Such curious cases as the Carolina twins and Chang 
and Eng were formerly supposed to be the result of the 
union of two separate individuals. It is now believed 
that they are developed from a single ovum. It has 
been observed that the primitive trace (described in a 
previous section) sometimes undergoes partial division 
longitudinally. If it splits a little at the anterior end, 
the individual will have a single body with two heads. 
If a partial division occurs at each end, the resulting 
being will possess two heads and two pair of legs 
joined to a single body. More complete division pro- 
duces a single trunk with two heads, two pair of arms 
and two pairs of legs, as in the case of the Carolina 
twins. Still more complete division may result in the 
formation of two perfect individuals almost entirely in- 
dependent of each other, physiologically, but united by 
a narrow band, as in the remarkable Siamese twins, Chang 
and Eng. 


Strange Freaks of Development.— In a curious case 
reported not a great while ago, a partially developed in- 
fant was amputated from the cheek of a child some time 
after birth. 

A few cases have been reported in which partially 
developed human beings have been found in various 
parts of the bodies of individuals, which were not pro- 
duced by any reproductive process, as they have been 
found in individuals of both sexes. These remarkable 
cases are undoubtedly the result of the inclosure of one 
embryo within another. 

The precise cause of these strange modifications of 
development is as yet, in a great degree, a mystery. 

Hybrids. — It is a well-known law of biology that no 
progeny result from union of animals of different species. 
Different varieties or races of the same species may form 
a fertile union, the result of which is a cross between its 
two parents, possessing some of the qualities of each. 
Such a cross is called a mongrel. All the varieties of 
dogs are produced by crossing different races, and so are 
mongrels. The various mixed races of men, such as mu- 
lattoes and half-breeds, are also mongrels. The mule is 
the product of a union between the horse and the ass, and 
is a true hybrid. The offspring of hybrids are sterile, 
almost without exception ; for the reason that they do 
not produce mature elements of generation. In the 
mule, the zoosperms are either entirely absent, or else 
very imperfectly developed ; hence the fact that a colt 
having a mule for its sire is one of the rarest of curios- 
ities, though a few instances have been reported. This 
is a wise law of nature to preserve the purity of species. 

Law of Sex. — If there is a law by which the sex of 


the developing embryo is determined, it probably has 
not yet been discovered. The influence of the will, the 
predominant vitality of one or the other of the parents, 
and the period at which conception occurs, have all been 
supposed to be the determining cause. A German phy- 
sician some time since advanced the theory that the two 
testicles and ovaries produce elements of different sexual 
character, the right testicle forming zoosperms capable 
of producing only males, and the right ovary producing 
ova with the same peculiarity. The left testicle and the 
left ovary he supposed to form the female elements. He 
claimed to have proved his theory by experiments upon 
animals. Even if true, this theory will not be made of 
practical importance. It is, in fact, nothing more than 
a revival of an old theory held by physicians who flour- 
ished more than two thousand years ago. 

Controlling Sex. — More recently another German 
physician has advanced the theory that the sex may be 
controlled at will by observing the time of fecundation. 
He asserts that when fecundation occurs shortly after 
menstruation, the result will be a female ; but if impreg- 
nation occurs later in the month, and prior to the three 
or four days preceding the next menstrual period, a 
male will almost certainly be produced. This theory 
was proposed by Prof. Thury of the academy of Geneva, 
who claims to have thoroughly tested it in a great vari- 
ety of ways, and always with an affirmative result. Dr. 
Heitzman, of New York, an instructor in pathological 
histology, and an eminent physiologist, informs us that 
he has thoroughly tested this theory, and finds it entirely 
reliable. There are numerous facts which seem to cor- 
roborate its truth, and future investigations may give 
to it the dignity of an established physiological fact. 


Floss, an eminent European author, claims to show 
by a comparison of the statistics of male and female 
births in various countries, that sex depends largely upon 
the food supply, females being relatively most numerous 
when food is abundant, while males predominate during 
periods of scarcity of food. Some curious experiments 
were made a few years ago by a learned etymologist, in 
the feeding of the larva of insects, which seemed to 
indicate that those larva which received the most food, 
developed into females ; while those which had the least 
food, developed into males. Facts well known to bee- 
keepers also indicate that an extra supply of food and 
better opportunities for development, is possibly the 
principal cause which gives origin to sexually perfect 
bees from larva which would otherwise produce ordi- 
nary workers. 

The facts just given would seem to support the 
theory of Floss, but the equally eminent Dr. Preussen 
maintains that males, and not females, are the result of 
a better food supply to the mother. 

There is good ground for the theory that the relative 
ages of the parents has much to do with influencing the 
sex of the offspring ; for example, statistics collected in 
Germany show that when the mother is older than the 
father, the number of female births is considerably in 
excess. This is equally true when the father and 
mother are of the same age. When the father's age is 
in excess of that of the mother, the male births are in 
excess of the females, the proportion of cases increasing 
with the predominance of the father's age above that of 
the mother. This would seem to agree perfectly with 
the well-known fact that male births are usually slightly 


in excess of the female. This theory would be the nat- 
ural result of the prevailing custom in society by which 
the age of the husband usually exceeds that of the wife. 

Heredity. — The phenomena of heredity are among 
the most interesting of biological studies. It is a mat- 
ter of common observation that a child looks like its 
parents. It even happens that a child resembles an 
uncle or a grandparent more nearly than either parent. 
The same peculiarities are often seen in animals. 

The cause of this resemblance of offspring to parents 
and ancestors has been made a subject of careful study 
by scientific men. We shall present tl\e most recent 
theory suggested, which, although it be but a theory, 
presents such an array of facts in its support, and ex- 
plains the phenomena in .question so admirably, that it 
must be regarded as something more than a plausible 
hypothesis. It is the conception of one of the most dis- 
tinguished scientists of the age. The theory is known 
as the doctrine of pangenesis, and is essentially as 
follows : — 

Pangenesis. — It is a fact well known to physiologists 
that every part of the living body is made up of cellular 
elements which have the power to reproduce themselves 
in the individual, thus repairing the damage resulting 
from waste and injury. Each cell produces cells like 
itself. It is further known that there are found in the 
body numerous central points of growth. In every 
group of cells is found a central cell from which the 
others originate, and which determines the form of their 
growth. Every minute structure possesses such a cen- 
ter. A simple proof of this fact is found in the experi- 
ment in which the spur of a cock was grafted upon the 


ear of an ox. It lived in this novel situation eight 
years, attaining the length of nine inches, and nearly a 
pound in weight. A tooth has been made to grow upon 
the comb of a cock in a similar manner. The tail of a 
pig survived the operation of transplanting from its 
proper position to the back of the animal, and retained 
its sensibility. Numerous other similar illustrations 
might be given. 

Gemmules,— The doctrine of pangenesis supposes 
that these centers of nutrition form and throw off not 
only cells like themselves, but very minute granules, 
called gemmules, each of which is capable, under suitable 
circumstances, of developing into a cell like its parent. 

These minute granules are scattered through the 
system in great numbers. The essential organs of gen- 
eration, the testicles in the male and the ovaries in the 
female, perform the task of collecting these gemmules, 
and forming them into sets, each of which constitutes a 
reproductive element, and contains, in rudimentary form, 
a representative of every part of the individual, includ- 
ing the most minute peculiarities. Even more than this : 
it is supposed that each ovum and each zoosperm con- 
tains not only the gemmules necessary to reproduce the 
individuals who produced them, but also a number of 
gemmules which have been transmitted from the individ- 
ual's ancestors. 

If this theory be true, — and we can see no sound 
objection to it, — it is easy to understand all the problems 
of heredity. The gemmules must be very small indeed, 
but it may be suggested that the molecules of matter 
are smaller still, so this fact is no objection to the theory. 

It will be seen, then, that each spermatozoon, or 


zoosperm, actually contains, in an embryonic condition, 
every organ and tissue of the individual producing it. 
The same is true of the ovum. In other words, the 
reproductive elements are complete representatives, in 
miniature, of the parents, and contain all the elements 
for producing an offspring possessing the same peculiari- 
ties as the parents. Various modifying circumstances 
sufficiently explain the dissimilarities between parents 
and children. 

This theory is strikingly confirmed by the fact, pre- 
viously mentioned, that in certain cases the ovum alone, a 
single reproductive element, may undergo a degree of 
development approaching very near completion. It is 
supposed that fecundation is chiefly necessary to give 
to the gemmules the requisite amount of nourishment to 
insure development. 

As we shall see hereafter, this matter has a very 
important bearing upon several practical questions. 

Circumcision. — The fold of integument called the 
prepuce, w T hich has been previously described, has upon 
its inner surface a large number of glands which produce 
a peculiar secretion. Under certain circumstances, and 
from inattention to personal cleanliness, this secretion 
may accumulate, and then often becomes the cause of irri- 
tation and serious disease. To prevent such disorders, 
and to insure cleanliness, the Jewish law required the 
removal of the prepuce, which constituted the rite 
of circumcision. The same practice is followed by 
several modern nations dwelling in tropical climates ; and 
it can scarcely be doubted that it is a very salutary 
one, and has contributed very materially to the mainte- 
nance of that proverbial national health for which the 


Jews are celebrated. Eminent physicians have ex- 
pressed the opinion that the practice would be a salu- 
tary one for all men. 

It is doubtful, however, whether as much narm as 
good does not result from circumcision, since it has been 
shown by extensive observation among the Jews that 
very great contraction of the meatus, or external orifice 
of the urethra, is exceedingly common among them, be- 
ing undoubtedly the result of the prolonged irritation and 
subsequent cicatricial contraction resulting from circum- 
cision in infancy. 

The maintenance of scrupulous cleanliness, by daily 
cleansing, is an imperative duty. 

In some countries, females are also circumcised by 
removal of the nymphse. The object is the same as 
that of circumcision in the male. The same evils result 
from inattention to local cleanliness, and the same meas- 
ure of prevention, daily cleansing, is necessitated 
by a similar secretion. Local cleanliness is neglected 
by both sexes. Daily washing should begin with in- 
fancy, and continue through life, and will prevent much 

Castration. — This operation consists in the removal 
of the testes of the male. It does not at once obliterate 
the sexual sense, especially if performed after puberty, 
but of course renders the individual impotent, or incapa- 
ble of reproduction. Persons upon whom it has been 
performed are called eunuchs. It was a very common 
custom in ancient times, being usually prompted by 
the jealousy of rulers, who allowed no males but 
eunuchs to associate with their wives and concubines. 
The effect upon the male is to render him effeminate in 


appearance and weak in mind. If performed before 
puberty, the growth of the beard is scanty, and the 
voice never acquires that deepness of tone natural to the 
masculine voice. 

Spaying. — An analogous operation, termed spaying, 
is performed upon females, consisting in the removal of 
the ovaries ; effects similar to those in the male, sterility 
without entire immediate loss of sexual sense, being the 
usual result. Spaying is much more frequently per- 
formed than castration, and is now employed as a 
means of relieving certain forms of intractable disease of 
the womb and ovaries. The credit of first employing 
this operation in cases of this kind is due to Dr. Battey, 
of Georgia. Castration is still practiced in some East- 
ern countries. 

Sexual hygiene, 

^# UST in proportion as the perpetuation of the race 
is more important than the existence of any single 
individual, the organs of reproduction may in a 
certain sense be said to rank higher than any 
other portions of the human frame, since to them is in- 
trusted the important duty of performing that most mar- 
velous of all vital processes, the production of human 
beings. That this high rank in the vital economy is 
recognized by nature, is shown by the fact that she has 
attached to the abuse of the generative function the 
most terrible penalties which can be inflicted upon a 
living being. The power of abuse seems to be almost 
exclusively confined to man ; hence, we find him about 
the only one of all living creatures subject to the awful 
penalties of sexual transgression. 

The use of the reproductive function is perhaps the 
highest purely physical act of which man is capable ; its 
abuse is certainly one of the most grievous outrages 
against nature which it is possible for him to perpetrate. 
No observing person can doubt that the sexual relations 
of men and women determine in a great degree their 
happiness or misery in life. This subject, then, deserves 
due attention and careful consideration. It is of no use 
to scout it ; for it will inevitably obtrude itself upon us, 
no matter how sedulously we attempt to avoid it. It 



can be rightly considered only with the most perfect 
candor, with the mind unbiased by passion, and prayer- 
fully anxious to know and do what is right. 

In the following paragraphs of this section are con- 
sidered some of the evils out of which grows much of 
the sexual suffering of men and women : — 

Sexual Precocity. — There are two periods in human 
life when the sexual instincts should be totally dormant ; 
and they are so when nature is not perverted. The 
first is the period reaching from infancy to puberty. 
The second is the period reached in advanced age. 

If raised strictly in accordance with natural law, 
children would have no sexual notions or feelings before 
the occurrence of puberty. No prurient speculation 
about sexual matters would enter their minds. Until 
that period, the reproductive system should lie dormant 
in its undeveloped state. No other feeling should be 
exhibited between the sexes than that brotherly and 
sisterly affection which is so admirable and becoming. 

Fortunate, indeed, would it be for humanity if this 
natural state always existed ; but it is a lamentable fact 
that it is rarely seen in modern homes. Not infre- 
quently, evidences of sexual passion are manifested 
before the child has hardly learned to walk. It has 
been suggested that this precocity is nothing remarkable 
or unnatural, since it is often seen in little lambs and 
other young animals. To this it is only necessary to 
reply that the development of the sexual instincts per- 
fectly corresponds with the longevity of the animal ; if 
short-lived, like the sheep, only a short period intervenes 
between birth and the attainment of the sexual appetite 
and virility. If the animal is intended for long life, as 


is the case with man, these manifestations are delayed 
until a much later period, or should be. Certain insects 
perform the sexual act as soon as they acquire their 
perfect form ; but they perish as soon as the act is com- 

Astonishing Ignorance. — It is astonishing how ig- 
norant and indifferent the majority of people are upon 
this subject. A friend related to us an incident which 
fairly illustrates the terrible apathy which prevails 
among parents. While teaching a country school, he 
learned that a large number of children, boys and girls, 
of ages varying from eight to twelve and fourteen years, 
were in the habit of collecting together in barns and other 
secluded places, and in a state of nudity imitating the 
" Black Crook," with all possible additional nastiness. 
Horrified at such a monstrous evil, he hastened to inform 
the parents of the corruption in their midst. Imagine 
his astonishment when he was met with an indifferent 
laugh, and the response, " Pooh ! it's only natural ; per- 
fectly harmless ; just like little pigs ! " — as though pigs 
were models for human beings ! 

It is not pleasant to consider what must have been 
the moral status of parents who could hold such views ; 
and it is no wonder that they should produce such 
children. Doubtless they learned too late, that tho&e 
"natural" manifestations were the outgrowth of incipient 
vices, planted and fostered by themselves, which in 
later years destroyed shame, and gave loose rein to lust. 

Premature Passion. — Often the manifestation of sex- 
ual precocity is less gross, but almost equally fraught 
with clanger, nevertheless. Dr. Acton, a distinguished 
English surgeon, whom we shall frequently quote, makes 
the following excellent remarks upon this subject : — 


" Slight signs are sufficient to indicate when a boy 
has this unfortunate tendency. He shows marked pref- 
erences. You will see him single out one girl, and 
evidently derive an unusual pleasure (for a boy) in 
her society. His penchant does not take the ordinary 
form of a boy's good nature, but little attentions that 
are generally reserved for a later period prove that 
his feeling is different, and sadly premature. He may 
be apparently healthy, and fond of playing with other 
boys ; still there are slight, but ominous indications of 
propensities fraught with danger to himself. His play 
with the girl is different from his play with his brothers. 
His kindness to her is a little too ardent. He follows 
her, he does not know why. He fondles her with a 
tenderness painfully suggestive of a vague dawning of 
passion. No one can find fault with him. He does 
nothing wrong. Parents and friends are delighted at 
his gentleness and politeness, and not a little amused at 
the early flirtation. If they were wise, they would 
rather feel profound anxiety ; and he would be an un- 
faithful or unwise medical friend who did not, if an 
opportunity occurred, warn them that such a boy, un- 
suspicious and innocent as he is, ought to be carefully 
watched and removed from every influence calculated to 
foster his abnormal propensities. 

" The premature development of the sexual inclina- 
tion is not alone repugnant to all we associate with the 
term childhood, but is also fraught with danger to dawn- 
ing manhood. On the judicious treatment of a case such 
as has been sketched, it probably depends whether the 
dangerous propensity shall be so kept in check as to 
preserve the boy's health and innocence, or whether one 


more shattered constitution and wounded conscience 
shall be added to the victims of sexual precocity and 
careless training. It ought not to be forgotten that in 
such cases a quasi-sexual power often accompanies these 
premature sexual inclinations. Few, perhaps, except 
medical men, know how early in life a mere infant may 
experience erections. Frequently it may be noticed 
that a little child, on being taken out of bed in the 
morning, cannot make water at once. It would be well 
if it were recognized by parents and nurses that this 
often depends upon a more or less complete erection." 

We have been not more disgusted than shocked to 
see parents, whose intelligence ought to teach them 
better, not only winking at, but actually encouraging, 
these premature manifestations of passion in their chil- 
dren. They may yet learn, by bitter experience, the 
folly of their course, unless they make the discovery in 
time to avert the calamitous results which threaten the 
future of their children, by careful reformatory training. 

Inherited Passion. — It is important to inquire into 
the cause of this precocity. Said a father of our acquaint- 
ance, when remonstrated with for encouraging his infant 
son in a ridiculous flirtation, " I did just so when I was 
of his age." In this case the cause was evident. The 
child was only acting out the disposition bequeathed him 
by his parent. How often do the secret follies of parents 
stand out in bold relief in their children. Such a legacy 
is nothing to be proud of. 

We again quote from Dr. Acton some observations 
on the causes of this disorder, — for a grave disorder it 
is, — as follows : — 

" I should specify hereditary predisposition as by no 



means the least common. ... I believe that, as in 
body and mind, so also in the passions, the sins of the 
father are frequently visited on the children. No man 
or woman, I am sure, can have habitually indulged the 
sexual passions . . . without, at least, running the 
risk of finding that a disposition to follow a similar ca- 
reer has been inherited by the offspring. It is in this 
way only that we can explain the early and apparently 
almost irresistible propensity in generation after genera- 
tion to indulge similar habits and feelings." 

Various Causes of Sexual Precocity. — Another very 
powerful predisposing cause of sexual precocity will be 
alluded to under the head of " Marital Excesses." The 
irritation caused by worms in the rectum, by local irri- 
tation or uncleanliness, or by irritation of the bladder, 
are exciting causes which are not infrequent. The latter 
cause is indicated by another symptom, the frequent 
wetting of the bed at night. Such a symptom doubly 
demands immediate attention 

The juvenile parties so common now-a-days, where 
little ones of both sexes, of ages varying from four or 
five years to ten or twelve, with wonderful precocity 
and truthfulness, imitate the conduct of their elders at 
fashionable dinners, cannot be too much deprecated. 
Such associations of the sexes have a strong tendency 
to develop prematurely the distinctive peculiarities of 
the sexes. This is well evidenced by the fact that on 
such occasions one of the most common and popular 
entertainments is sham marriages. Parents greatly err 
in encouraging or allowing their children to engage in 
amusements of so dangerous a character. They are 
productive of no good, and are almost without exception 
productive of positive and serious injury. 


Modern modes of life, improper clothing, the forcing 
system of cramming in schools, the immodest example 
of older persons, and especially the irritating, stimulating 
articles of diet which are daily set before children, as 
well as older people, undoubtedly have a powerful 
influence in stimulating the development of the sexual 
passions. This subject is again referred to under the 
heading, " Chastity." 

Obscene books and papers, lewa pictures, and evil 
communications are telling causes which will be further 
noticed elsewhere. 

Senile Sensuality. — As with childhood, old age is a 
period in which the reproductive functions are quiescent, 
unless unnaturally stimulated. Sexual life begins with 
puberty, and, in the female, ends at about the age of 
forty-five years, at the period known as the menopause, 
or turn of life. At this period, according to the plainest 
indications of nature, all functional activity should cease. 
If this law is disregarded, disease, premature decay, 
possibly local degenerations, will be sure to result. 
Nature cannot be abused with impunity. 

The generative power of the male is retained some- 
what longer than that of the female, and by stimulation 
may be indulged at quite an advanced age, but only at 
the expense of shortening life, and running the risk of 
sudden death. Says Parise, " One of the most important 
pieces of information which a man in years can attain, is 
' to learn to become old betimes,' if he wishes to attain 
old age. Cicero, we are told, was asked if he still 
indulged in the pleasures of love. ' Heaven forbid ! ' re- 
plied he ; ' I have forsworn it as I would a savage and a 
furious master/" 


Some learned physicians place the proper limit of 
man's functional activity at fifty years, if he would not 
render himself guilty of shortening his days by sensual- 
ity. Other reasons for this course will appear hereafter. 

Satyriasis. — When the passions have been indulged, 
and their diminishing vigor stimulated, a horrid disease? 
satyriasis, not infrequently seizes upon the imprudent 
individual, and drives him to the perpetration of the 
most loathsome crimes and excesses. Passions cultivated 
and encouraged by gratification through life, will thus 
sometimes assert a total supremacy in old age. 



The scope and plan of this work will allow of but the 
briefest possible consideration of this subject, upon 
which volumes have been written, and much to no purpose 
other than the multiplication of books. We shall devote 
no space to a consideration of the origin of the institu- 
tion, its expediency, or varied relations, as these topics 
are foreign to the character of this work. 

The primary object of marriage was, undoubtedly, 
the preservation of the race, though there are other 
objects which, under special circumstances, may become 
paramount even to this. These latter we cannot con- 
sider, as only the physical relations of marriage come 
properly within our province. 

The first physiological question to be considered is 
concerning the proper age for marriage. 

Time to Marry. — Physiology fixes with accuracy the 
earliest period at which marriage is admissible. This 
period is that at which the body attains complete de- 
velopment, which is not before twenty in the female, 
and twenty-four in the male. Even though the growth 
may be completed before these ages, ossification of the 
bones is not fully effected, so that development is in- 

Among most modern nations, the civil laws fixing 
the earliest date of marriage seem to have been made 
without any reference to physiology, or with the 
mistaken notion that puberty and nubility are identical. 
It is interesting to note the different ages established 
by different nations for the entrance of the married state. 


The degenerating Romans fixed the ages of legal mar- 
riage at thirteen for females, and fifteen for males. 
The Grecian legislator, Lycurgus, placed the ages at 
seventeen for the female, and thirty-seven for the male. 
Plato fixed the ages at twenty and thirty years. In 
Prussia, the respective ages are fifteen and nineteen; 
in Austria, sixteen and twenty ; in France, sixteen 
and eighteen, respectively. 

Says Mayer, "In general, it may be established 
that the normal epoch for marriage is the twentieth 
year for women, and the twenty-fourth for men." 

Application of the Law of Heredity.— A moment's 
consideration of the physiology of heredity will disclose 
a sufficient reason why marriage should be deferred un- 
til the development of the body is wholly complete. 
The matrimonial relation implies reproduction. Repro- 
duction is effected through the union of the ovum 
with the zoosperm. These elements, as w T e have al- 
ready seen, are complete representatives of the indi- 
viduals producing them, being composed — as supposed 
— of minute gemmules, which are destined to be de- 
veloped into cells and organs in the new being, each 
preserving its resemblance to the cell within the parent 
which produced it. The perfection of the new being, 
then, must be largely dependent on the integrity and 
perfection of the sexual elements. If the body is still 
incomplete, the reproductive elements must also be in- 
complete , and, in consequence, the progeny must be 
equally immature. 

Early Marriage,— The preceding paragraph con- 
tains a sufficient reason for condemning early marriage ; 
that is, marriage before the ages mentioned It is prob- 


able that even the ages of twenty and twenty-four are 
too early for those persons whose development is un- 
commonly slow. But there are other cogent reasons for 
discountenancing early marriages, also drawn from the 
physiology of reproduction, to say nothing of the many 
reasons which might be urged on other grounds. 

1 . During the development of the body, all its ener- 
gies are required in perfecting the various tissues and 
organs. There is no material to be spared for any 
foreign purpose. 

2. The reproductive act is the most exhaustive of all 
vital acts. Its effect upon an undeveloped person is to 
retard growth, weaken the constitution, and dwarf the 

3. The effects upon the female are even worse than 
those upon the male ; for, in addition to the exhaustion 
of nervous energy, she is compelled to endure the bur- 
dens and pains of child-bearing when utterly unprepared 
for such a task, to say nothing of her unfitness for the 
other duties of a mother. With so many girl-mothers in 
the land, is it any wonder that there are so many thou- 
sands of unfortunate individuals who never seem to get 
beyond childhood in their development ? Many a man 
at forty years is as childish in mind, and as immature in 
judgment, as a well-developed lad of eighteen should be. 
They are like withered fruit plucked before it was ripe ; 
they can never become like the mellow and luscious 
fruit allowed to mature properly. They are unalterably 
molded; and the saddest fact of all is that they will 
give to their children the same imperfections ; and the 
children will transmit them to another generation, and 
so the evil will go on increasing, unless checked by ex- 
tinction of the line. 


Mutual Adaptation. — Another question of very great 
importance is that of the mutual adaptation of indi- 
viduals. To this question we can devote but a very 
brief consideration, and that will be more of the nature 
of criticism than of a set of formal rules for governing 
matrimonial alliances. 

A Dangerous Doctrine.— A writer of some note, 
whose work on this and kindred subjects has had quite 
an extensive circulation, advocates with great emphasis 
the theory that parties contemplating marriage should 
in all cases select for partners, individuals as nearly like 
themselves as possible. Exact duplicates would, in his 
opinion, make the most perfect union attainable. To 
make his theory practicable, he is obliged to fall back 
upon phrenology ; and directs that a man seeking a wife, 
or a woman seeking a husband, should obtain a phreno- 
logical chart of his head, and then send it around until a 
counterpart is found. If the circle of one's acquaintance 
is so fortunate as to contain no one cursed with the 
same propensities or idiosyncrasies as himself, the news- 
papers are to be brought into requisition as a medium of 

If so strange a doctrine as this were advocated by an 
obscure individual in some secluded hamlet, or found 
only in the musty volumes of some forgotten author, it 
surely would be unworthy of notice ; but coming as it 
does from a quite popular writer, and being coupled 
with a great amount of really valuable truth, it is suffi- 
ciently important to deserve refutation. A brief glance 
at the practical working of the theory will be a sufficient 
exposure of its falsity. 

According to this rule, a man or woman of large 


combativeness should select a partner equally inclined 
to antagonism; then we should have — what? the ele- 
ments of a happy, contented, harmonious life? — No; 
instead, either a speedy lawsuit for divorce, or a con- 
tinual domestic broil, the nearest approach to a mundane 
purgatory possible. The selfish, close-fisted, miserly 
money-catcher must marry a woman equally sordid and 
stingy. Then together they could hoard up — for moths 
and rust to destroy, or for interested relatives to quarrel 
over— their beloved greenbacks and their glittering dollars, 
each scrimping the other down to the finest point above 
starvation and freezing, and finally dying, to be forgotten 
by their fellow-men as soon as dead, and sent among the 
goats at the great Assizes. A shiftless spendthrift must 
choose for a helpmeet (?) an equally slovenly, thriftless 
wife. A man with a crotchet should select a partner 
with the same morbid fancy. A man whose whole 
mental composition gravitates behind his ears, must find 
a mate with the same animal disposition. An individual 
whose mental organization is sadly unbalanced, is ad- 
vised to seek for a wife a woman with the same deficien- 
cies and abnormalities. 

Any one can see at a glance the domestic disasters 
which such a plan of proceeding would entail. Men and 
women of unbalanced temperaments would become more 
unbalanced. An individual of erroneous tendencies, in- 
stead of having the constant check of the example and 
admonitions of a mate of opposite tendencies, would be, 
by constant example, hastened onward in his sinful 
ways. Thus, to all but a very small proportion of hu- 
manity, the married state would be one of infelicity and 


And what would be the progeny of such unions? 
The peculiarities and propensities of the parents, instead 
of being modified and perhaps obliterated in the children 
by corresponding differences in character, would be 
doubly exaggerated. The children of selfish parents 
would be thieves ; those of spendthrifts, beggars ; those 
of crotchety parents, monomaniacs ; those born of sensual 
parents, beastly debauchees. A few generations of such 
a degenerating process would either exterminate the 
race, or drive it back to Darwin's ancestral ape. 

It must not be inferred from our strictures upon the 
theory mentioned, that we would advocate the opposite 
course, that is, the contraction of marriage by individ- 
uals of wholly dissimilar tastes, aims, and temperaments. 
Such alliances would doubtless be quite as wretched in 
their results as those of an opposite character. It is 
with this as with nearly all other subjects ; the true 
course lies between the two extremes. Parties who are 
negotiating a life partnership, should be careful to assure 
themselves that there exists a sufficient degree of con- 
geniality of temperament to make such close and con- 
tinued association agreeable. 

Disparity of Age. — Both nature and custom seem 
to indicate that the husband should be a little older than 
the wife. Several reasons might be given for this, but 
we need not mention them. When, however, the differ- 
ence of ages reaches such an extreme as thirty, forty, 
even fifty or more years, nature is abused, good taste 
is offended, and even morality is shocked. Ill-sorted 
alliances are disastrous to both parties, and scarcely 
more to one than the other. 

Unions of an opposite character to those just consid- 


erecl, wherein a young man marries a woman much older 
than himself, are more rare than those of the other class. 
They are, perhaps, less deplorable in their physical 
effects, but still highly reprehensible. They are seldom 
prompted by pure motives, and can be productive of no 
good. Children resulting from such unions are notably 
weak, unbalanced, and sorry specimens of humanity. 

A Domestic Purgatory, — We have scarcely referred 
to the domestic misery which may result from these 
disgraceful unions. If a young girl is brought home by 
a widower to preside over his grown-up daughters, each 
of whom is old enough to be her mother, all the ele- 
ments are provided for such a domestic hell as could 
only be equaled by circumstances precisely similar. If 
children are born, neither father nor mother is fit to act 
the part of a parent to them. The father, by reason of 
his age, is fitful, uncertain, and childish ; to-day too 
lenient, to-morrow too exacting. The mother is pettish, 
childish, indulgent, impatient, and as unskilled in gov- 
ernment as unfit for motherhood. In the midst of all 
this misrule, the child grows up undisciplined, unculti- 
vated, unsubdued, — a misery to his parents, a disgrace to 
his friends, a dishonor to himself. 

" What shall I do with him ? and what will he do 
with me ? " was the question asked by a girl of eighteen 
whose parents were urging her to marry an old man ; 
and every young woman would do well to propound the 
same question under similar circumstances. 

Were we disposed to define more specifically the 
conditions necessary to secure the most harmonious 
matrimonial unions, it would be useless to do so ; for 
unions of this sort never have been, and never will be — 


with rare exceptions — formed in accordance with a pre- 
scribed method, independent of any emotional bias. Nor 
is it probable that such a plan would result in remedying, 
in any appreciable degree, existing evils. It is a fact 
too patent to be ignored, that a very large share of the 
unhappiness in the world arises from ill-mated marriages; 
but it is also true that nearly the whole of this unhappi- 
ness might be averted if the parties themselves would 
endeavor to lessen the differences between them by 
mutual approximation. 

Courtship. — We cannot well avoid devoting a few 
paragraphs to a part of the subject so important as this, 
especially as it affords an opportunity for pointing out 
some evils too patent and too perilous to be ignored. 

Courting, in the sense in which we use the word, is 
distinctly an American custom. The social laws of 
other civilized countries are such as to preclude the pos- 
sibility of the almost unrestrained association of the 
sexes in youth which we see in this country. We do 
not offer this fact as an argument in favor of foreign 
social customs, by any means, although in this one par- 
ticular they often present great advantages, since in the 
majority of instances other evils as great, or even greater, 
are encouraged. We mention the fact simply for the 
purpose of bringing into bold relief the evils of the char- 
acteristic American looseness in this particular. 

Courtship in France. — A French matron would be 
horrified at the idea that a young man should ask her 
daughter to accompany him alone on an evening ride, to 
a lecture, concert, or other place of amusement, and 
much more should he ask the privilege of sitting up all 
night in the parlor with the light turned down, after the 


rest of the family had retired. Among respectable 
people in France, such liberties are not tolerated ; and a 
young man who should propose such a thing would be 
dismissed from the house instantly, and regarded as un- 
fit for association with virtuous people. If a young man 
calls upon a young lady for the purpose of making her 
acquaintance, he sees both her and her mother, or an 
aunt or older sister. He never sees her alone. If he 
invites her to ride, or to accompany him to an entertain- 
ment of any sort, he must always invite her lady friend 
also ; she goes along at any rate. There is afforded no 
chance for solitary moonlight strolls or rides, nor any 
other of the similar opportunities made so common by 
American courting cilstoms. 

We are no advocates of the formal modes of contract- 
ing matrimonial alliances common among many nations, 
and illustrations of which we find in all ages of the 
world. For example, among the ancient Assyrians it 
was a custom to sell wives to the highest bidder, at 
auction, the sums received for the handsomest ones being 
given to the less favored ones as a dowry, to secure a 
husband for every woman. The same custom prevailed 
in Babylon in ancient times, and has been practiced in 
modern times in Russia. At St. Petersburg, not many 
years ago, an annual sale of wives was held on Whit 
Sunday, after the same plan followed by the Assyrians. 

A Jewish Custom, — Among the early Jews it seems 
to have been the custom for parents to select wives for 
their sons. In the case of Isaac, this important matter 
was intrusted to an old and experienced servant, who 
was undoubtedly considered much more competent to 
select a wife for the young man than he was himself. 


The same custom has been handed down, even to the 
present time among some oriental nations. In many 
cases the parties are not allowed to see each other until 
after the wedding ceremony is completed. The Hunga- 
rians often betroth their children while they are yet in 
their cradles, as did the Mexicans and Brazilians of the 
last century. In some countries it has even been cus- 
tomary to betroth girls conditionally before they were 

The primitive Moravians seem to have adhered to 
the ancient Jewish custom in some degree, though mak- 
ing the selection of a wife a matter of chance. The old 
people did all the courting there was done, which was 
not much. When a young man desired a wife, a help- 
meet was selected for him by casting lots among the 
marriageable young ladies of the community, and the 
young man was obliged to abide by the decision, it 
being supposed that Providence controlled the selection. 
We are not prepared to say that the young man ran any 
greater risk of getting an uncongenial or undesirable life 
companion by this mode of selection than by the more 
modern modes in vogue among us 

As before remarked, we do not present these customs 
as illustrations of what might be considered a proper 
mode of conducting the preliminary steps of matrimonial 
alliances. On the contrary, we unhesitatingly pronounce 
them decidedly objectionable, on moral grounds if not on 
others, and we can readily see that such unions must 
have been in many cases exceedingly unsatisfactory. 

But still more objectionable must have been the 
loose customs which have prevailed among some nations, 
as, for instance, in Congo, where wives are taken on 


trial. If, after two or three years, both parties are sat- 
isfied, they are married. If they are not suited, each 
tries it again with another partner, so continuing the ex- 
periments until a congenial mate is found. In some 
parts of South America, a similar custom has prevailed, 
as well as in other countries. In an early day a practice 
not unlike this was common in Scotland. 

An Immoral Custom. — In Finland, a custom known 
as "the week of the breeches," allows young folks a 
waek's trial to see whether they can agree within the 
limits of a single couch, before the matrimonial knot is 
tied. In Wales, a similar practice was until recently in 
vogue, under the name of " bundling." Indeed, it has 
not been a full generation since an identical practice, 
known as " tarrying," prevailed among the Anglo-Amer- 
icans in some sections of this country, which allowed 
the courting couple to occupy the same bed as a test of 
their congeniality, before being tied up for life. 

While traveling in Europe a few years since, the 
author met in Sweden a very intelligent native physician 
who had practiced his profession for many years among 
his countrymen, and from whom the fact was learned 
that the custom referred to in the preceding paragraph 
is still prevalent in many parts of the rural districts of 
that country. 

Prevailing Customs of Evil Tendency . — All virtuous 
and enlightened people will exclaim against such loose 
practices as these ; and yet we inquire, in all seriousness, 
Are not many of the common practices of most young 
persons while courting as unnecessary, and in quality as 
improper, as those last mentioned ? What possible 
good, we inquire, can come from the not uncommon cus- 


torn among young persons of sitting up half the night, or 
all the night, as is not infrequently done, with the 
light turned down or completely extinguished, hugging 
and kissing and talking sentimental moonshine until 
they are mutually disgusted and wearied with such 
mawkish maneuvers ? 

" Why," says one, " it is necessary that young people 
should get acquainted with each other in order to know 
whether there will be mutual congeniality or not," to 
which we need only reply that such circumstances are 
the most unfavorable that could be imagined for becom- 
ing really acquainted. Both are in a state of mind 
which is very correctly characterized as u soft." Xeither 
is natural ; neither appears natural. Each does his best 
to appear unnatural. If an individual possesses noble 
and admirable traits of character, they are not likely to 
be drawn out by such experiences as these. 

This argument is precisely the one which was prob- 
ably urged in favor of experimental marriages, and of 
the customs known as " bundling," " tarrying," and " the 
week of the breeches," among the nations maintaining 
them. Said they, Matrimony is a very momentous 
matter, and it is of the greatest importance that the in- 
dividuals should become well acquainted with each 
other before it is too late to remedy a mistake. 

It will be responded that those customs placed before 
the ardent, unsophisticated young people, temptations to 
commit gross immoralities. 

Granting this to be true, we inquire, Is not the same 
objection valid in the other case ? What better oppor- 
tunity for a breach of morals could be desired than is 
granted to young persons during courtship in this coun- 


try ? The thousands of sad cases of shipwrecked virtue 
which date their overthrow from such occasions as have 
been described, furnish the only answer needed. If 
moral principle is weak, such practices will in no degree 
serve to increase its strength. The associations, the 
mental state, and the physical conditions are all such as 
to stimulate the baser passions ; and that this is the 
exact effect, thousands of young men can testify. In- 
deed, from the confidences reposed in us as a physician, 
we have received the most indisputable evidence that 
this effect is not confined to the male sex. The peculiarly 
languid, spiritless feelings which a young lady experiences 
the. day succeeding a night spent with her intended, or 
perhaps a mere admirer, in the manner described, means 
something more than physical exhaustion from want of 
sleep, as many of them are very well aware. Under 
existing circumstances, the wonder to us is not that 
there are so many lapses from virtue among American 
young women, but that there are no more. 

But the effects upon both sexes, even when no overt 
sin is committed, is most pernicious, both mentally and 
physically, besides being in no small degree sinful ac- 
cording to the interpretation of the law given by Christ. 

The author has met numerous instances in which the 
first departures from the path of purity were induced by 
the familiarities indulged during flirtation or courtship. 
Little by little the barriers were broken down, until at 
last all reserve was gone, and the grossest immoralities 
were practiced, in some instances for months and even 

Long Courtships, — Chiefly for the reasons presented 
in the preceding paragraphs, we are opposed to long 


courtships and long engagements. They are productive 
of no good, and are not infrequently the occasion of 
much evil. There may be circumstances which render 
a prolonged engagement necessary and advisable ; but, 
in general, they are to be avoided. 

On the other hand, hasty marriages are still more to 
be deprecated, especially when, as is too commonly the 
case, the probability is so great that passion is the 
actuating motive far more than true love. Marriage is 
a matter of most serious consequence, and deserving of 
the most careful deliberation. Too often, matrimony is 
entered upon without any more substantial assurance of 
happiness as the result, than the individual has of secur- 
ing a valuable prize who buys a ticket in a lottery 
scheme. In the majority of cases, young people learn 
more of each other's real character within two weeks 
after marriage than they discovered during many 
months of courting. 

Advice about Getting Married.— To every young 
man and woman we say, Look well before you leap; 
consider well, carefully, and prayerfully. A reckless 
leap in the dark is a fearful risk, and will be far more 
likely to land you in a domestic purgatory than any- 
where else. Do not be dazzled by a handsome face, an 
agreeable address, a brilliant or piquant manner. Choose 
modesty, simplicity, sincerity, morality, — qualities of 
heart and mind, — rather than exterior embellishments. 

" It is folly," suggests a friend, " to give advice on 
these subjects ; for no one will follow advice on this 
point, no matter how sensible and reasonable he may 
be on all other subjects. The emotions carry the individ- 
ual away, and the reason loses control." This is too true, 


in nearly all cases. We believe in affection. The 
emotions have their part to act. We have no sympathy 
with the theories of those who will have all marriages 
made by rule. But reason must be allowed a voice in 
the matter; and although there may be a time when 
the overwhelming force of the emotions may relegate 
reason and judgment into the background, there has 
been a time previous when the judgment might have 
held control. Let every young person be most scrupu- 
lously careful how he allows emotional excitement to 
gain the ascendency. When reason is once stifled, the 
individual is in a most precarious situation. It is far 
better and easier to prevent the danger than to escape 
from it. 

Flirtation. — We cannot find language sufficiently 
emphatic to express proper condemnation of one of the 
most popular forms of amusement indulged in at the 
present day in this country, under the guise of innocent 
association of the sexes. By the majority of people, 
flirtation is looked upon as harmless, some even consid- 
ering it useful, claiming that the experience gained by 
such associations is valuable to young persons, by making 
them familiar with the customs of society and the ways 
of the world. We have not the slightest hesitation in pro- 
nouncing flirtation pernicious in the extreme. It exerts 
a malign influence alike upon the mental, the moral, and 
the physical constitution of those who indulge it. The 
young lady who has become infatuated with a passion 
for flirting, courting the society of young men simply 
for the pleasure derived from their attentions, is educat- 
ing herself in a school which will totally unfit her for 
the enjoyment of domestic peace and happiness should 


she have all the conditions necessary for such enjoyment 
other than those which she herself must furnish. More 
than this, she is very likely laying the foundation for 
lifelong disease by the dissipation, late hours, late sup- 
pers, evening exposures, fashionable dressing, etc., the 
almost certain accompaniments of the vice we are con- 
sidering. She is surely sacrificing a life of real, true 
happiness for the transient fascinations of unreal enjoy- 
ment, pernicious excitement. 

It may be true, and undoubtedly is the case, that by 
far the greater share of the guilt of flirtation lies at the 
door of the female sex ; but there do exist such detesta- 
ble creatures as male flirts. In general, the male flirt 
is a much less worthy character than the young lady 
who makes a pastime of flirtation. He is something 
more than a flirt. In nine cases out of ten, he is a rake 
as well. His object in flirting is to gratify a mean pro- 
pensity at the expense of those who are pure and 
unsophisticated. He is skilled in the arts of fascination 
and intrigue. Slowly he winds his coils about his vic- 
tim, and before she is aware of his real character, she 
has lost her own. Such wretches ought to be punished 
in a purgatory by themselves, made seven times hotter 
than for ordinary criminals. 

Society is full of these lecherous villains. They 
insinuate themselves into the drawing-rooms of the most 
respectable families ; they are always on hand at social 
gatherings of every sort. They haunt the ball-room, 
the theater, and even the church when they can forward 
their infamous plans by seeming to be pious. Xot 
infrequently they are well supplied with a stock of pious 
cant, which they employ on occasion to make an impres- 


sion. They are the sharks of society, and often seize in 
their voracious maws the fairest and brightest ornaments 
of a community. The male flirt is a monster. Every 
man ought to despise him ; and every woman ought to 
spurn him as a loathsome social leper. 

Any young man who has been heartlessly jilted by 
a young woman upon whom he has placed his affections, 
should waste no time in regrets that his suit has been 
refused, but should consider himself in the highest de- 
gree fortunate that he has not been permitted to form a 
life-long alliance with one who was utterly unworthy of 
the affections of any honest man. So also the young 
lady whose affections have been trifled with by one of 
those heartless fops who consider the breaking of hearts 
an enjoyable pastime, should not regret her experience 
as a loss, but rather regard it as a fortunate deliverance 
from a life of wretchedness certain to result to any 
woman who places her happiness in the keeping of one 
of those shallow-brained and heartless individuals. 

Youthful Flirtations,— Flirting is not confined to 
young men and women. The contagion extends to little 
boys and girls, whose heads ought to be as empty of all 
thoughts of sexual relations as the vacuum of an air- 
pump is of air. The intimate association of young boys 
and girls in our common schools, and, indeed, in the ma- 
jority of educational institutions, gives abundant oppor- 
tunity for the fostering of this kind of a spirit, so preju- 
dicial to healthful mental and moral development. Every 
educator who is alive to the objects and interests of his 
profession, knows too well the baneful influence of these 
premature and pernicious tendencies. Many times has 
the teacher watched with a sad heart the withering of 


all his hopes for the intellectual progress of a naturally 
gifted scholar, by this blighting influence. 

The most dangerous period for boys and girls ex- 
posed to temptations of this sort is that just following 
puberty, or between the ages of twelve and eighteen or 
twenty. This period, a prominent educator in one of our 
Western States once denominated, not inappropriately, 
"the agonizing period of human puppyhood." If this 
critical period is once safely passed, the individual is 
comparatively safe ; but how many fail to pass through 
the ordeal unseared ! 

The most painful phase of this subject is the tacit — 
even, in many cases, active — encouragement which too 
many parents give their children in this very direction, 
seemingly in utter ignorance of the enormity of the evil 
which they are winking at or fostering. Parents need 
enlightenment on this subject, and ought to be aroused 
to the fact that it is one of the most momentous ques- 
tions that can arise in the rearing and training of chil- 

Polygamy. — One hundred years ago the public dis- 
cussion of the propriety or impropriety of a plurality of 
wives would have been impossible. Polygamy had not 
obtained a foot-hold as an institution in any civilized 
land. Being well known as not uncommon among cer- 
tain heathenish and barbarous tribes, it was looked upon 
as a heathenish and debasing institution, the outgrowth 
of ignorance and gross sensuality, and a relic of a sensual 
age. Now, this is no longer true. Even in this, the 
most enlightened of all lands, where there are most 
ample facilities for culture, for moral and mental devel- 
opment, polygamy holds up its hideous head in defiance 


of all the laws of God and man. It is true that the per- 
petrators of this foul crime against humanity and Heaven 
have been driven by the indignation of outraged decency 
to seek a lurking place in the far-off wilderness of the 
Western territories ; yet the foul odors from this fester- 
ing sore are daily becoming more and more putrescent, 
and in spite of the distance, are contaminating the al- 
ready not overstrict morals of the nation. 

No better evidence of the blighting, searing effect of 
this gross social crime could be found than in the fact 
that not only is polygamy coming to be winked at as 
something not so very bad, after all, but men from whom 
we have a right to expect something better, are coming 
forward in its defense. 

A Defense of Polygamy. — We have just been pe- 
rusing a work written for the express purpose of justify- 
ing and advocating polygamy, by an evangelical clergy- 
man. He was evidently not willing to own his work, 
however, since his name is carefully excluded from the 
title page, and his publisher put under an oath of se- 
crecy. The arguments which he makes in favor of 
polygamy are chiefly the following : — 

1. That it is approved by the Bible. 

2. That a robust man requires more than one woman 
to satisfy his sexual demands. 

3. That there are more women than men; and since 
every woman has a right to have a husband, the only 
way all can be supplied is to allow several women, two 
or more, according to the capacity of the man, or as they 
can agree, to form a marriage partnership with one man. 

4. That the great men of all ages have been polyga- 
mists in fact, if not by open profession. 


5. That monogamy is a relic of the paganism of 
the ancient Greeks and Romans, with whom it orig- 

6. That it is the only proper and effective cure 
for the "social evil," and all its attendant vices and 
dire diseases. 

Arguments of Polygamists Answered.— As this 
work has had quite a circulation, bearing the imprint 
of a well-known Boston publisher, and has not received 
any answer that we are aware of, we deem it worth 
while to give these arguments, which are very strongly 
presented, at least a passing notice. We will consider 
them in the order in which they are stated above. 

1. We deny most emphatically the assertion that 
polygamy is either taught or approved by the Bible. 
It was tolerated in a people who had long been in the 
darkness of Egyptian bondage, but never approved. 
Indeed, the inspired writers have evidently taken 
pains to give numerous examples of the evils grow- 
ing out of that violation of the laws of God and nature. 

2. The second argument is based upon the asserted 
fact that man naturally possesses stronger sexual de- 
mands than woman ; that these demands are imperative ; 
and that it is not only impossible, but in the highest 
degree injurious, to restrain them. 

While it is true, as a fact affirmed by constant 
observation, that men have stronger passions than 
women, in general, and that many men demand of their 
wives a degree of sexual indulgence which is the cause 
of serious injury to them, and even impossible for 
them to grant without doing themselves the greatest 
wrong, it is by no means proven either that these de- 


mands are imperative, that they are natural, or that they 
are not injurious to the man as well as the woman, much 
less beneficial to either. On the contrary, there is as 
great a weight of evidence as could be required that re- 
straint, self-control, and moderation in the exercise of 
the sexual instinct, are in the highest degree beneficial to 
man, as well as to woman, and are necessary for his 
highest development. 

3. While it is true there are a few more adult women 
than men, the difference is not sufficiently great to re- 
quire the introduction of polygamy as a remedy for en- 
forced celibacy. At any rate, this would be unnecessary 
until all bachelors had been provided with wives, when 
there would be found no necessity for further provision, 
since there are large numbers of women who are utterly 
unfit to marry, who would be injured by so doing, and 
would only serve to degenerate the race, besides making 
themselves more wretched than they already are. 

Again, it is a well-known fact that more males than 
females are born, the preponderance of adult females 
being caused by a greater mortality among male children, 
together with the losses from accidents and war. By a 
correct observance of the laws of health, together with 
the abolition of wars, the disparity in relative numbers 
of the sexes would disappear. Indeed, it might happen 
that men would be in the preponderance. 

Still again, it is only in a few very populous and 
long-settled communities that there are more women 
than men, as in the States of Massachusetts, Connecticut, 
and a few others of the Eastern States, and a few coun- 
tries of Europe. In all newly settled countries, the 
reverse is true. The inquiry naturally arises, What 


shall be done under these circumstances ? Shall a wo- 
man be allowed more than one husband, as is actually 
the case in some countries ? " Oh ! no ; " our polygamist 
replies, "a woman is not capable of loving more than 
one man, and is not even able to satisfy the sexual 
demands of a single husband ; so, of course, a plurality 
of husbands is out of the question. A man is capable 
of loving any number of women, being differently con- 
stituted from a woman ; and so the same rule does not 

The writer evidently confounds love with lust. He 
will grant unstinted indulgence to the lusts of man, but 
requires woman to be restrained, offering as an apology 
for such a manifestly unfair and unphilosophical discrim- 
ination, that " man is differently constituted from a wo- 
man sexually, requiring more active exercise of the sex- 
ual functions," — a conclusion which could be warranted 
only by the selection, as a typical specimen of the male 
part of humanity, of a man with an abnormal develop- 
ment of the animal propensities. 

A correct understanding and application of the laws 
of sexual hygiene would effectually sweep away every 
vestige of argument based on this foundation. 

4. In proof of the propriety of polygamy, as well as 
of its necessity, the author referred to cites the well- 
known fact that Plato, Aristotle, Bacon, Alexander, 
Caesar, Napoleon, Burns, Byron, Augustus, Webster, 
and numerous others of the noted men of all ages have 
been incontinent men. The fact that these men were 
guilty of crime does not in the least degree detract from 
the enormity of sin. It is equally true that many great 
men have been addicted to intemperance and other 


crimes. Alexander was a Sodomite as well as a lecher- 
ous rake. Does this fact afford any proof that those 
crimes are virtues instead of vices ? Such argument is 
hardly worthy of serious refutal, since it stultifies itself. 

5. The fact that monogamy was practiced among the 
ancient Greeks and Romans, is in no way derogatory of 
it as an institution. Even if it could be shown that it 
originated with those nations, still this would in no way 
detract from its value or respectability. Do not we owe 
much to those grand old pagans who laid the foundation 
for nearly all the modern sciences, and established bet- 
ter systems of political economy, and better schools for 
uniform culture of the whole individual, than any the 
world has seen since ? But monogamy did not originate 
with the Greeks, neither was it invented by the Romans, 
nor by any other nation. It originated with the great 
Originator of the human race. It is an institution which 
has come down to us, not from Greece or Rome, but 
from Paradise. 

If it was so important that man should have more 
than one woman to supply his sexual demands, why 
was the Creator so short-sighted as to make but one 
Eve ? It would have been as easy to remove two or 
three or half a dozen ribs from Adam's side as one ; and 
as the whole world had yet to be populated, a plurality 
of wives would certainly have accelerated the process. 
Surely, if polygamy was ever required or excusable, it 
ought to have been allowed at the start. 

Again, when Noah went into the ark, taking with 
him an assortment of all species of animals, he took some 
kinds by pairs and some by sevens, from which we 
might suspect, at least, that he observed the laws of 


nature respecting polygamous and monogamous animals. 
But he took only one wife for himself, and only one for 
each of his sons. Why not two or half a dozen instead ? 
Polygamy would certainly have accelerated the repopu- 
lation of the earth most wonderfully ; but Noah was 
monogamous. To say, in view of such facts, that mo- 
nogamy originated with the paganism of ancient Greece 
and Rome, is blasphemy. 

6. The argument that polygamy will cure the " social 
evil" is exactly equivalent to the argument that the 
removal of all restraint from the sale and manufacture 
of intoxicating drinks, thus making them cheap and 
common, is the best remedy for intemperance. An 
equally good argument might be made for the cure of 
theft, murder, and every other vice and crime, by a sim- 
ilar plan. Such reasoning is the veriest sophistry. 
None but a biased mind could produce such flimsy 

But we forbear. We have already given this sub- 
ject more attention than it is worthy of, though we have 
failed to characterize the vice of polygamy as it deserves. 
Our chief apology for noticing the subject is the fact 
that sensual men sometimes set up some of the same 
arguments as an apology for their vices. 

Polyandry. — Perhaps we should add a word or two 
respecting this custom, which seems to be a still greater 
outrage against nature than that of polygamy, being the 
possession of a plurality of husbands by one woman. 
This practice is in vogue in several countries at the 
present time, being very common in Thibet, where it is 
not an unusual thing for a woman, in marrying the eld- 
est of a family of brothers, to include in the contract all 


the other brothers as well. Polyandry was also common 
among the ancient Medes. Indeed, the Medes practiced 
both polygamy and polyandry. A man was not consid- 
ered respectable unless he had at least seven wives • 
neither were women considered worthy of general esteem 
unless they had as many as five husbands. In that 
country, the fact that a woman was already married 
was in no degree a barrier to subsequent marriages, 
even while the husband was living, and without the 
trouble of a divorce. Those who maintain the propriety 
of polygamy, would do well to consider the historic facts 
respecting the opposite practice. There appear to be as 
good grounds for believing one to have a basis in the 
human constitution as the other. 

Queer Family Arrangements,— An African tribe 
described by Livingstone have very singular social cus- 
toms. Children are the property of the mother's brother, 
and the father is required to pay a fine for each one who 
dies. The king's oldest half-sister is next to him in 
authority, and after his death, selects a king from among 
his sons. She cannot marry, but is allowed a morganatic 
alliance with a slave. Any children born to her are put 
to death at birth. 

Divorce. — Another of the crying evils of the day, 
and one which menaces in a most alarming manner the 
most sacred interests of society, is the facility with 
which divorces may be obtained. In some States, the 
laws regulating divorce are so notoriously loose that 
scores and even hundreds of people visit the States re- 
ferred to every year with no other object than to obtain 
a dissolution of the bonds of matrimony. The effect of 
this looseness in the laws is to encourage hasty, incon- 


siderate marriages, and to make escape from an uncon- 
genial partner so easy that the obligation to cultivate 
forbearance, and to acquire mutual adaptation, which may 
not at first exist, is wholly overlooked. 

The Bible rule for divorce, laid down by the great 
Teacher, is little regarded in these degenerate days. He 
made adultery the only legitimate cause for divorce ; 
yet we now see married people breaking asunder their 
solemn marriage ties on the occurrence of the most trivial 
difficulties. If a couple become tired of each other, and 
desire a change, all they have to do is to forward the fee 
to a New York or Chicago lawyer, and they will receive 
back in a short time the legal papers duly signed, grant- 
ing them the desired annulment of their vows. 

Although countenanced by human laws, there can be 
no doubt that this shameless trifling with a divine 
institution is regarded by High Heaven as the vilest 
abomination. In no direction is there greater need of 
reformatory legislation than in this. The marriage con^ 
tract should be recognized in our laws as one which can- 
not be made and broken so lightly as it now is. It 
should be annulled only for the most serious offenses. 
The contrary course, now pursued so frequently, is most 
detrimental to morals. Our divorce laws virtually offer 
a premium for unchastity. 

Not infrequently we see, among the advertisements 
in the newspapers, notices like the following : " The un- 
dersigned is prepared to furnish divorces to parties 
desiring the same at moderate rates, in short time, and 
without publicity. ." 

The animus of these advertisements is fraud. The 
parties so engaged are the vilest scoundrels ; and that 


they are allowed to continue to ply their nefarious 
vocation is a foul blot upon the enlightened civilization 
of a so-called Christian country. A publisher who will 
insert such a notice in his journal, would advertise a 
brothel if he dared. While there is so much interest in 
the suppression of obscene literature, we would suggest 
that the proper authorities should likewise direct their 
attention to the suppression of unlawful divorces, and 
the proper punishment of the villains engaged in for- 
warding this nefarious business. 

Who May not Marry. — Many writers devote much 
space in laying down rules which are to be implicitly 
followed by those seeking life partners. We have 
attempted nothing of the sort, both from its impractica- 
bility, and from the fact that such rules are never 
followed ; and if the attempt should be made to follow 
the prescribed rules, we are not sure that more good 
than harm would be the result. Hence, we shall content 
ourselves with calling attention to a few facts of great 
importance respecting the conditions which imperatively 
forbid marriage, and which cannot be violated without 
the certain entailment of great suffering. 

1 . Persons suffering with serious disease of a character 
communicable to others by contagion or by hereditary trans- 

Many people wonder why it is that diseases are so 
much more numerous and varied in modern times than 
in the earlier ages of the race. There has been an 
evident increase of diseases within a few centuries. 
While there are, undoubtedly, numerous influencing 
causes, one which cannot be overlooked is the hereditary 
transmission of disease, which preserves those disorders 


already existing, and adds new ones which originate 
from new exciting causes. By this means, the human 
race is undoubtedly being weakened, human life short- 
ened, and diseases multiplied. Compare the average 
age of human beings of the present day, less than forty 
years, with the longevity of the early members of the 
race, who lived more than as many score of years. Some 
mighty deteriorating influence has been at work ; and 
we hazard nothing in the assertion that the marriage of 
diseased persons, and kindred violations of the laws of 
human hygiene, have been not unimportant factors in 
producing this most appalling diminution in the length 
of human life. 

Among the diseases which are most certain to be 
transmitted, are pulmonary tuberculosis, or consumption, 
syphilis, cancer, leprosy, epilepsy, and some other nerv- 
ous disorders, some forms of skin disease, and insanity. 
The list might be extended ; but these are the most com- 
mon. Persons suffering with these disorders have no 
right to marry, for at least four reasons : — 

(1.) It is a sin against the offspring of such unions, 
who have a right to be born well, but are forced to come 
into the world with weakly constitutions, diseased frames, 
and the certainty of premature death. The children of 
consumptive and syphilitic parents rarely survive infancy. 
If they do, it is only to suffer later on, as they surely 
will, and perhaps to communicate the same destructive 
diseases to other human beings ; but these diseases rarely 
extend beyond the third generation, the line becoming 
extinct. The most heart-rending spectacles we have 
ever met have been the children of parents suffering with 
the diseases mentioned. Their appearance is character- 


istic ; no physician of experience can fail to detect the 
sins of a profligate parent in a syphilitic child. Every 
feature indicates the presence of a blighting curse. 

There are those who assert that a man who has suf- 
fered with disease of the character last mentioned, may 
marry after the lapse of two or three years from the dis- 
appearance of the active symptoms of the malady. Such 
assertions we consider as most dangerous and pernicious. 
The individuals who make them are well acquainted 
with the fact that, of all diseases, this is the most diffi- 
cult to eradicate when once the system has become thor- 
oughly infected by it. Not only three years, but thirty, 
may elapse after active symptoms disappear; yet the 
disease may break out again in a new and still more se- 
rious and complicated form. It may even lie entirely 
dormant or latent in the system of the parent during his 
lifetime, but break out in all its terrible destructiveness 
in his children. A man or woman who has once suffered 
with this fell disease, is contaminated for life ; and it is 
a crime for such an one to entail upon innocent, unoffend- 
ing human beings such a terrible legacy. Such a person 
has no right to marry ; or if married, has no right to 
perpetuate the results of his sins in offspring. It is never 
safe to say to a man who has once been infected, You 
are cured. If a cure ever takes place, it is exceedingly 

A worn-out debauchee certainly has no right to 
marry. As a medical writer has remarked : " Marriage 
is not a hospital or an infirmary for the treatment of dis- 
ease, or a reformatory institution for the moral leper. 
More intelligent and just public opinion will do away 
with such outrages." 10 


(2.) It is a crime against the race. One of the pri- 
mary objects of marriage is reproduction. As members 
of the human race, it is the duty of parents to produce 
a high type of human beings, at least to do all in their 
power to produce healthy offspring. If they cannot do 
this, and are aware of the fact, they are guilty of abuse 
of the reproductive function in bringing sickly offspring 
into the world to suffer. 

(3.) It is injurious to the contracting parties them- 
selves. If a person has a communicable disease, as 
syphilis, leprosy, and some bad forms of skin disease, 
the disease will certainly be communicated to the wife 
or husband, and so a double amount of suffering will be 
entailed. The dread disease, consumption, rightly called 
the scourge of civilization, is now well known to be com- 
municable. A few years ago we were consulted by an 
old gentleman, a native of Canada, who was suffering 
with pulmonary disease. We inquired respecting the 
history of the malady. Said he, "Doctor, it may seem 
strange, but I believe I inherited consumption from my 
wife, who died of consumption a few years ago." Ex- 
cepting the wrong use of the term inherit, we were not 
prepared to dispute the old gentleman's ideas respecting 
the origin of his disease. Living for years in close asso- 
ciation with his wife, who was slowly dying with disease 
of the lungs, it was quite possible for him to have re- 
ceived the disease from her. So many cases of this kind 
have been reported that it is now generally believed by 
medical men that consumption is communicable from 
one person to another by the reception into the system 
of the well person of the exhalations from the lungs of 
the person affected. 


Physical Influence of Marriage.— Another point 
worthy of mention here is the well-known fact that the 
intimate association of married people modifies even the 
physical form of both. Almost every one has noticed 
how much alike in appearance married people often 
come to be who have lived many years together. This 
physical change undoubtedly extends farther than to the 
features only. The whole constitution is modified. 

A remarkable illustration is found in the frequent 
observation that the children of a woman by a second 
husband often resemble in appearance the first husband 
much more than their own father. It has been observed 
that the children of negro women, even by husbands of 
pure negro blood, are much lighter in color than usual, if 
she has had a child by a white man previously. 

The same fact is observed in lower animals. In 
England, some years ago, a cross was effected between 
a male zebra and several young mares. Not only the 
hybrid colts resulting from this union, but all the colts 
afterward foaled by the same mares, from other horses, 
were striped like the zebra. 

In view of these facts, it is evident that the system 
of the wife, at least, may be profoundly affected by con- 
stitutional weaknesses, as well as by other individual 
peculiarities possessed by her husband. 

No person suffering with a contagious or infectious 
disease, has any right to communicate the same to an- 
other. Indeed, it is the moral duty of every person so 
affected to do all in his power for the protection of others 
from the same cause of suffering. 

2, Persons having a marked hereditary tendency to dis- 
ease, must not marry those having a similar tendency. 


Every physician knows too well the powerful influence 
of hereditary causes in determining the length of human 
life. Persons, one or both of whose parents have died 
of consumption, are very likely to die of the same dis- 
ease, and frequently at about the same age. The chil- 
dren of such parents are commonly feeble and puny, 
and die early, if they survive infancy. When both par- 
ents possess the consumptive tendency, the chance for 
life in the offspring is very poor indeed. The same may 
be said of those suffering with cancer, epilepsy, insanity, 
etc. Persons with a strong tendency to any one of the 
diseases mentioned, should in no case marry. If there 
is but a slight morbid tendency, marriage may be admis- 
sible, but only with a partner possessing robust health. 

3. Should cousins marry ? 

Writers have devoted a good deal of attention to this 
subject, and we have been shown statistics, reports of 
imbecile asylums, etc., for the purpose of proving that 
the marriage of cousins results in the production of 
idiots, and children defective in other ways ; but the 
results of a more careful examination of the subject in- 
validate the views heretofore held, and it must be ac- 
knowledged that when both parties are healthy, there is 
no more liability of mental incompetency in the children 
of cousins, than in the offspring of persons more remotely 
related. It must be added, however, that there are 
other reasons why the marriage of cousins is not to be 
generally recommended. Besides the fact that the feel- 
ing existing between cousins is often only that which is 
felt by brothers and sisters for each other, there is the 
still more important fact that on account of the blood re- 
lation, unions of this kind are more apt than others to 


bring together persons having similar morbid tendencies. 

^. Persons having serious congenital deformities should 
not marry. 

The reason for this rule is obvious. Persons suffer- 
ing with serious congenital defects, as natural blindness 
deafness, deformity of the limbs, or defective develop- 
ment of any part, will be more or less likely to transmit 
the same deformities or deficiencies to their children. 
There are, of course, cases of natural blindness, as well 
as of disability in other respects, to which this rule does 
not apply, the natural process of development not being 
seriously defective. It has even been observed that 
there is a slight tendency to the reproduction in the off- 
spring, of deformity which has been artificially produced 
in the parents, and has existed for a long time. 

Many ancient nations observe this rule. Infants 
born cripples were strangled at birth or left to die. A 
Spartan king was once required by his people to pay 
a heavy fine for taking a wife who was inferior in size. 

5. Criminals should not marry. 

It has been satisfactorily shown by thorough and 
scientific investigation that criminals often receive their 
evil proclivities from their parents. What are known as 
the criminal classes, which are responsible for the greater 
part of the crime committed, are constantly and greatly 
on the increase. There is no doubt but that inheritance 
is largely responsible for the continued increase of crime 
and criminals. A drunkard begets in his child a thirst 
for liquor, which is augmented by the mother's use of 
ale or lager during gestation and nursing, and the child 
enters the world with a natural taste for intoxicants. 
A thief transmits to his offspring a secretive, dishonest, 


sneaking disposition ; and the child comes into the world 
ticketed for the State prison by the nearest route. So 
with other evil tendencies. By legislation or by some 
other means, measures should be speedily adopted for the 
prevention of this increase of criminals, if there is any 
feasible plan which can be adopted. We offer no sug- 
gestion on this point, but it is one well worthy of the 
consideration of philanthropic statesmen. 

6. Persons ivho are greatly disproportionate in size 
should not marry. 

While good taste would suggest the propriety of this 
rule, there are important physiological reasons for its 
observance. While the lack of physical adaptitude may 
be the occasion of much suffering and unhappiness in 
such unions, especially on the part of the wife, being 
even productive of most serious local disease, and some- 
times of sterility, it is in childbirth that the greatest 
risk and suffering is incurred. More might be said on 
this point, but this is sufficient for those who are willing 
to profit by a useful hint. 

7. Persons between whom there is a great disparity of 
age should not marry. 

The reasons for this have already been given at 
length, and we will not repeat. In general, the husband 
should be older than the wife, from two to five years. 
The husband may often be ten or twelve years the 
senior of the wife ; but when more than that, the union 
is not likely to be a profitable or happy one, if it is not 
absolutely productive of suffering and unhappiness. 
The ancient Greeks required that the husband should 
be twenty years older than the wife ; but this custom 
was no more reasonable than that of another nation 


which required that only old and young should marry, so 
that the sobriety of the old might restrain the frivolity 
of the young. 

8. Persons to ho are extremely unlike in temperament 
should not marry. 

Persons who are so unlike in temperament and tastes 
as to have no mutual enjoyments, no congeniality of feel- 
ing, will be incompatible as husband and wife, and the 
union of such persons will be anything but felicitous. 
No definite rule can be laid down ; but those seeking a 
companion for life would do well to bear this caution in 
mind, at the same time remembering that too great sim- 
ilarity of character, especially when there are prominent 
defects, is equally undesirable. 

9. Marriage between zviclely different races is unad- 

While there is no moral precept directly involved in 
marriage between widely different nations, as between 
whites and blacks or Indians, experience shows that such 
marriages are not only not conducive to happiness, but 
are detrimental to the offspring. It has been proven 
beyond room for question that mulattoes are not so long- 
lived as either blacks or whites. 

10. Persons ivho are unable to sustain themselves or a 
family should not marry. 

Both moral and social obligations — if the two obliga- 
tions may exist independently — forbid marriage to a 
young man who is scarcely able to provide for himself, 
much less to support a wife and family. The theory 
advocated by some, that two can live almost as cheaply 
as one, so that a saving will be made by a union of two 
in marriage, is a most fallacious one. There may be 


occasional exceptions, but in general, young people who 
marry with this idea in their heads, find that they have 
reasoned not wisely. It will not be disputed that a 
married couple may live upon what is often spent fool- 
ishly by a young man ; but a young man can be econom- 
ical if he will ; and if he does not learn economy before 
marriage, it is likely that he never will learn it. 

The marriage of paupers, to beget pauper children 
and foist them upon the community for support, is an 
outrage against society. We believe it is not improper to 
speak out plainly upon this subject, and in no uncertain 
tone, notwithstanding the popular prejudice which cries, 
"Hush, be quiet; don't interfere with individual rights, 
do n't disturb the peace of society," whenever anything 
is said that has a bearing on a regard for propriety in 
matters relating to one of the most ancient, the most 
sacred, and the most abused of all divinely appointed 
human institutions. We have never been able to ac- 
count for this strange averseness to the consideration of 
this phase of the matrimonial question, and the de- 
termined effort often made to ignore it whenever it is 
broached. We purpose to speak out, notwithstanding 
the feeling referred to, since we believe this to be a cry- 
ing evil ; and we have no fears but that we shall have 
the hearty indorsement of every individual who can so 
far lay aside his prejudices as to allow his native com- 
mon sense a fair chance to influence his judgment. 

In the country of Iceland, a land which is scarcely 
more than semi-civilized, if a young man wishes to 
marry, the first thing to be considered is his pecuniary 
situation. Before he can take to himself a wife, he 
must appear before the proper authority, and present 


evidence that he is able to support a wife and family in 
addition to providing for himself. Even the barbarous 
natives of Patagonia show an equal degree of good sense, 
the chief of each tribe requiring that every young man 
who wishes to marry shall first prove himself competent 
to provide for a family, having attained the requisite de- 
gree of proficiency in hunting and fishing, and having 
possessed himself of at least two horses and the neces- 
sary equipments. 

In this country, — a civilized, so-called Christian 
country, blessed with all the enlightenment of the nine- 
teenth century, — what do we see ? Instead of any regu- 
lation of the sort, there is the utmost indifference to 
such clearly important considerations. If young people 
profess to love each other, and wish to marry, no one 
of their friends thinks of asking, " How are they going 
to live after they are married ? Has the young man a 
trade ? Has the young lady been so educated as to be 
self-sustaining if necessary? Has the young man a 
home or the wherewithal to obtain one ? Has he a good 
situation, with prospects of being able to support his 
wife comfortably and provide for a family ? " These or 
similar questions, are sometimes asked, but little respect 
is paid to them by any one, least of all by the young 
people themselves, who ought to be most interested. 
The minister never inquires respecting the propriety of 
the wedding at which he is to officiate, and invokes the 
blessings of Heaven upon a union which, for ought he 
knows, may be the grossest violation of immutable laws 
Heaven-implanted in the constitution of the human race. 
The friends tender their congratulations and wishes of 
^much joy," when in three cases oat of four the con- 


ditions are such that a preponderance of grief is an in- 
evitable certainty, and "much joy" an utter impos- 

There are exceptions to all general rules ; but it is a 
fact of which almost any one may convince himself, that 
the majority of men and women do not rise much higher 
than the level reached at marriage. If a young man has 
no trade then, it is more than probable that he will 
never be master of one. If he has not fitted himself for 
a profession, he will most likely never attain to such a 
rank in society. He will, in all probability, be a com- 
mon laborer, living " from hand to mouth," with nothing 
laid by for a rainy day. 

A wag says that a young couple just married, and 
for the first time awakened to the full consciousness of 
the fact that they must provide for themselves or starve, 
held the following dialogue : Husband. — " Well, wife, 
what are we going to do ? How shall we live ? " Wife. 
— " Oh, my dear, we shall get along very well, I am 
sure ; you love me, do n't you ? " H. — " Certainly, dear, 
but we cannot live on love." W. — "We can live on 
bread and water ; so long as we have each other, it 
doesn't matter much what we have to eat." H. — 
" That's so, my dear ; well, you furnish the bread, and 
I will skirmish around after the water." This exact di- 
alogue may never have taken place ; but the circum- 
stances which might have called it out have occurred 
thousands of times. How many times has a dependent 
woman, who had hastily married an improvident hus- 
band, awakened at the end of a short honey-moon to find 
that she had only a limber stick or a broken reed to lean 
upon, instead of a self-reliant, independent, self-sustain- 


ing man, able to provide for her the comforts of a home, 
and to protect her from the rudeness and suffering of 
privation and want ! 

In our estimation, it is as much a sin for a man to 
assume the obligation of caring for a wife and family 
when he has no reasonable grounds for believing himself 
able to do so, as for a man to go in debt a few hundreds 
or thousands of dollars, and agree to pay the same when 
required, though perfectly well aware that he will prob- 
ably be unable to do so. Hence we say again, with em- 
phasis, The improvident should not marry ; and we shall 
insist upon urging this truth, notwithstanding the fact 
that the very class of persons referred to are usually of 
all classes the most anxious to enter the matrimonial 
state at the earliest possible moment, and the most cer- 
tain to bring into the world large families of children 
still more improvident than themselves. 

11. Do not marry a person whose moral character will 
not bear the closest scrutiny. 

By this we do not mean that absolute perfection 
should be required, as this would interdict marriage al- 
together ; but we wish to warn every young man against 
marrying a young woman who treats lightly or contempt- 
uously matters which should be treated with profound 
respect ; who uses the name of the Deity flippantly or 
rudely; who treats her parents disrespectfully; who 
never cares to talk of subjects of a spiritual nature ; who 
is giddy, gay, dressy, thoughtless, fickle. Such a young 
woman will never make a loving, patient, faithful, help- 
ful wife. 

We wish also to warn every young woman against 
choosing for a husband a man who has a strong leaning 


toward infidelity ; who does not believe in human respon- 
sibility ; who makes a mock of religion ; who is addicted 
to profanity ; who is either grossly intemperate or given 
to moderate tippling, be it ever so little, so long as he 
does not believe in and practice total abstinence ; who 
uses tobacco; who is a jockey, a fop, a loafer, a schem- 
ing dreamer, or a speculator ; who is known to be un- 
chaste, or who has led a licentious life. 

The man who has no love for his Maker will be 
likely to have little for his wife and children. He who 
does not acknowledge his responsibility to a higher 
Power, will soon forget his obligation to the wdfe he has 
promised to love and cherish. The man who is not 
willing to sacrifice the gratification afforded by such 
pernicious habits as dram-drinking and tobacco-using to 
insure the comfort and happiness of his wife and children, 
is too selfish to make any woman a kind husband. 

There is no greater error abroad than that held by 
not a few, that " a reformed rake makes the best hus- 
band." The man whose affections have been consumed 
in the fires of unhallowed lust, is incapable of giving a 
pure-minded woman the love that she expects and 
deserves. A person cannot pass through the fire un- 
scathed. The scars burned into the character by the 
flames of concupiscence are as deep and lasting as those 
inflicted upon the body, and even more so. Only " in 
the regeneration " will the marks and scars of the 
reformed reprobate be wholly effaced. 

We willingly grant that there have been numerous 
instances in which noble women have, by years of patient 
effort, reformed their erring husbands, and restored them 
to the paths of virtue and sobriety from which they had 


wandered. We do not deny that it can be done again ; 
but we do not hesitate to say that the experiment is a 
most perilous one for any woman to undertake, and one 
which not more than one woman in a hundred can bring 
to a successful termination. The hazard is terrible. 
Perhaps it is on this very account that many young 
women run the risk ; but they rarely understand what 
they are doing. The woman who marries a drunkard, 
will, ten chances to one, die a heart-broken drunkard's 
wife, or follow her husband to a drunkard's grave. It 
is never safe for a woman to marry a man who has been 
for years a habitual drunkard, since he may relapse at 
any time ; and the man who has only indulged moder- 
ately, should be thoroughly reformed and tested before 
the chances are taken " for better or for worse." Let 
him prove himself well first. A proposition to reform 
on condition of marriage should be dismissed with dis- 
dain. If a young man will not determine to do right 
because it is right, his motives are sordid; and the 
probability is very great that so soon as some stronger 
incentive appeals to his selfishness, he will forget his 
vows and promises, and relapse into his former vices. 



Continence differs from chastity in being entire 
restraint from sexual indulgence under all circumstances, 
while chastity is only restraint from unlawful indulgence. 
Many of the observations on the subject of " Chastity " 
apply with equal force to continence. The causes of in- 
continence are the same as those of unchastity. The same 
relation also exists between mental and physical conti- 
nence as between mental and physical chastity. 

The subject of continence evidently has a somewhat 
wider scope than that of chastity, as generally understood; 
but as we have considered the latter subject so fully, we 
shall devote less space to this, leaving the reader to 
make the application of such preceding remarks as 
reason may suggest to him are equally appropriate here. 

Without stopping to consider the various circum- 
stances under which absolute continence is expedient, or 
desirable, or morally required, we will proceed at once 
to examine the question, Is continence harmful ? 

Continence Not Injurious.— It has been claimed by 
many, even by physicians, and though with slight show 
of reason, that absolute continence, after full development 
of the organs of reproduction, could not be maintained 
without great detriment to health. It is needless to 
enumerate all the different arguments employed to sup- 
port this position, since they are, with a few exceptions, 
too frivolous to deserve attention. We shall content 
ourselves chiefly with quotations from acknowledged 
authorities, by which we shall show that the popular 
notions upon this subject are wholly erroneous. Their 


general acceptance has been due, without doubt, to the 
strong natural bias in their favor. It is an easy matter 
to believe what agrees well with one's predilections. A 
bare surmise, on the side of prejudice, is more telling 
than the most powerful logic on the other side. 

" We know that this opinion is held by men of the 
world, and that many physicians share it. This belief 
appears to us to be erroneous, without foundation, and 
easily refuted." * 

The same writer claims " that no peculiar disease 
nor any abridgement of the duration of life can be 
ascribed to such continence." He proves his position by 
appealing to statistics, and shows the fallacy of argu- 
ments in support of the contrary view. He further 
says ,— 

" It is determined, in our opinion, that the commerce 
of the sexes has no necessities that cannot be restrained 
without peril." 

" A part has been assigned to spermatic plethora in 
the etiology of various mental affections. Among others, 
priapism has been attributed to it. In our opinion, this 
malady originates in a disturbance of the cerebral nerve 
power ; but it is due much less to the retention of sperm 
than to its exaggerated loss ; much less to virtuous 
abstinence than to moral depravity." 

There has evidently been a wide-spread deception 
upon this subject. " Health does not absolutely require 
that there should ever be an emission of semen, from 
puberty to death, though the individual live a hundred 
years ; and the frequency of involuntary nocturnal 
emissions is an indubitable proof that the parts, at least, 

* Mayer. 


are suffering under a debility and morbid irritability 
utterly incompatible with the general welfare of the 

Continence does not Produce Impotence.— It has 
been declared that strict continence would result in im- 
potence. The falsity of this argument is clearly shown 
by the following observations : — 

" There exists no greater error than this, nor one 
more opposed to physiological truth. In the first place^ 
I may state that I have, after many years' experience, 
never seen a single instance of atrophy of the generative 
organs from this cause. I have, it is true, met the com- 
plaint; but in what class of cases does it occur? — It 
arises, in all instances, from the exactly opposite cause, 
abuse ; the organs become worn out, and hence arises 
atrophy. Physiologically considered, it is not a fact 
that the power of secreting semen is annihilated in well- 
formed adults leading a healthy life, and yet remaining 
continent. No continent man need be deterred by this 
apocryphal fear of atrophy of the testes, from living a 
chaste life. It is a device of the unchaste, a lame excuse 
for their own incontinence, unfounded on any physiolog- 
ical law."* 

The eminent Dr. Joseph Hutchinson, of London, 
states emphatically that impotence is never the result of 
continence. It is unquestionably true, however, that 
serious injury may result from prolonged and ungratified 
sexual excitement, often greater than from frequent 
gratification in a normal way ; nevertheless, this is no 
apology for incontinence, as the troublesome excitement 
is not a physiological condition, but is the result of a bad 

* Acton. 


mental state, the mind being allowed to run upon sensual 
subjects, which is, beyond question, mentally and mor-- 
ally, as well as physically, wrong. Sexual excitement 
arising from constipation of the bowels, or from any form 
of local disease, is a morbid condition which is aggravated 
rather than relieved by gratification. Hence a morbid 
desire for sexual gratification is under no circumstances 
an apology for indulgence. 

A Hint from Lower Animals,— The truth of these 
statements has been amply confirmed by experiments 
upon animals, as well as by the experience of some of 
the most distinguished men who have ever lived, among 
whom may be mentioned Sir Isaac Newton, Kant, 
Paschal, Fontenaille, and Michael Angelo. These men 
never married, and lived continent lives. Some of them 
lived to a very great age, retaining to the last their 
wonderful abilities. In view of this fact, there is cer- 
tainly no danger that any young man will suffer injury 
by the restraining of his passions within the limits of 
divine and natural law. 

The complaint is made by those whose lives have 
been far otherwise than continent, that abstinence oc- 
casions suffering from which indulgence gives relief. 
The writer just referred to (Acton) further says that 
when such a patient consults a medical man, " he should 
be told — and the result would soon prove the correctness 
of the advice — that attention to diet, gymnastic exercise, 
and self-control will most effectually relieve the symp- 

Difficulty of Continence,— Some there are who urge 
that self-denial is difficult ; that the natural promptings 

are imperious. From this they argue that it cannot but 



be right to gratify so strong a passion. " The admitted 
fact that continence, even at the very beginning of man- 
hood, is frequently productive of distress, — is often a 
struggle hard to be borne, still harder to be completely 
victorious in, — is not to be at all regarded as an argument 
that it is an evil? * 

If rigid continence is maintained from the first, the 
struggle with the passions will not be nearly so severe 
as after they have once been allowed to gain the ascend- 
ency. On this point, the following remarks are very 
just :— 

"At the outset, the sexual necessities are not so un- 
controlled as is generally supposed, and they can be put 
down by the exercise of a little energetic will. There 
is, therefore, as it appears to us, as much injustice in 
accusing nature of disorders which are dependent upon 
the genital senses, badly directed, as there would be in 
attributing to it a sprain or a fracture accidentally pro- 
duced." f 

It would be just as reasonable to offer the appetite 
for liquor as an apology for its use, and a good evidence 
of the physiological necessity for alcoholic stimulants, as 
to argue that sexual indulgence is a physiological need 
for the individual, whereas no such necessity exists 
unless produced by erotic thoughts or other conditions 
within the individual's own control, or by morbid or 
diseased conditions which require medical treatment for 
their removal, and which will be aggravated, rather than 
alleviated, by the gratification of the desire for indulgence. 

Kelps to Continence. — As already indicated, and as 
every individual with strong passions knows, the war- 

* Acton. f Mayer. 


fare with passion is a serious one if a person determines 
to lead a continent life. He needs the help of every aid 
that he can gain. Some of these may be named as fol- 
lows: — 

The Will. — A firm determination must be formed to 
lead a life of purity ; to quickly quench the first sugges- 
tions of impurity ; to harbor no unchaste desire ; to purge 
the mind of carnal thoughts ; in short, to cleave fast to 
mental continence. Each triumph over vicious thoughts 
will strengthen virtue ; each victory won will make the 
next one easier. So strong a habit of continence may be 
formed that this alone will be a bulwark against vice. 

Diet. — He who would keep in subjection his animal 
nature, must carefully guard the portal to his stomach. 
The blood is made of what is eaten. Irritating food will 
produce irritating blood. Stimulating foods or drinks 
will surely produce a corresponding quality of blood. 
Irritating, stimulating blood will irritate and stimulate 
the nervous system, and especially the delicate nerves 
of the reproductive system, as previously explained. 
Only the most simple and wholesome food should be 
eaten, and that only in such moderate quantities as are 
required to replenish the tissues. The custom of making 
the food pungent and stimulating with condiments, is 
the great, almost the sole, cause of gluttony. It is one 
of the greatest hinderances to virtue. Indeed, it may 
with truth be said that the devices of modern cookery 
are most powerful allies of unchastity and licentiousness. 
This subject is particularly deserving of careful, candid, 
and studious attention, and only needs such investigation 
to demonstrate its soundness. 

Exercise. — Next to diet as an aid to continence, 


perhaps of equal importance with it, is exercise, both 
physical and mental. It is a trite proverb, the truth of 
which every one acknowledges, that " Satan finds some 
mischief still for idle hands to do," and it is equally true 
that he always has an evil thought in readiness to in- 
still into an unoccupied mind. A person who desires to 
be pure and continent in body and mind, must flee idle- 
ness as he would the devil himself; for the latter is 
always ready to improve upon the advantages afforded 
by an idle moment, an hour given to reverie. 

We have the strongest testimony from the most 
eminent physicians in regard to the efficacy of exercise 
in overcoming abnormal sexual desires. Mr. Acton 
relates the following statement made to him by a gentle- 
man who has become distinguished in his profession : — 

"'You may be surprised, Mr. Acton,' said he, 'by 
the statement I am about to make to you, that before 
my marriage I lived a perfectly continent life. During 
my university career, my passions were very strong, 
sometimes almost uncontrollable, but I have the satis- 
faction of thinking I mastered them ; it was, however, 
by great efforts. I obliged myself to take violent 
physical exertion ; I was the best oar of my year, and 
when I felt particularly strong sexual desire, I sallied 
out to take my exercise. I was victorious always, and' 
I never committed fornication. You see in what vigor- 
ous health I am ; it was exercise alone that saved me.'" 

Says Carpenter, on the same subject, in a text-book 
for medical students, " Try the effect of close mental 
application to some of those ennobling pursuits to which 
your profession introduces you, in combination with 
vigorous bodily exercise, before you assert that the ap- 
petite is unres trainable, and act upon that assertion." 


Walking, riding, rowing, and gymnastics are among 
the best modes of physical exercise for sedentary per- 
sons ; but there is no better form of exercise than work- 
ing in the garden. The cultivation of small fruits, 
flowers, and other occupations of like character, really 
excel all other modes of physical exercise for one w T ho 
can engage in them with real pleasure. Even though 
distasteful at first, they may become very attractive and 
interesting if there is an honest, persevering desire to 
make them so. 

The advantages of exercises of this kind are evident. 
1. They are useful as well as healthful ; while they call 
into action a very large number of muscles by the varied 
movements required, the expenditure of vital force is 
remunerated by the actual value of the products of the 
labor ; so that no force is wasted ; 2. The tillage of 
the soil and the dressing of vines and plants bring one 
in constant contact with nature in a manner that is 
elevating and refining, or at least affords the most 
favorable opportunities for the cultivation of nobility and 
purity of mind, and elevated principles. 

Exercise carried to such excess as to produce ex- 
haustion, is always injurious. The same is true of 
mental labor as of physical exercise. Plenty of sleep, 
and regular habits of retiring and rising, are important. 
Dozing is bad at any time ; for it is a condition in which 
the will is nearly dormant, though consciousness still 
lingers, and the imagination is allowed to run wild, and 
often enough it will run where it ought not. Late study, 
or late hours spent in any manner, is a means of pro- 
ducing general nervous irritability, and sexual excite- 
ment through reflex influence. 


The author has made these suggestions to a large 
number of young men who were suffering from the re- 
sults of sexual excesses, and whose lives had been made 
wretched by the clamorings of artificially stimulated 
passions, and has frequently witnessed the best results. 
Not a little earnestness and moral courage were required 
on the part of the patient, however, to secure a rigid 
carrying out of the principles here laid down. The 
fascination of a passion long indulged, is likely to gain 
the mastery over any man who is not thoroughly in 
earnest to secure a physical as well as a mental and 
moral reform. But one who will engage earnestly and 
persistently in the effort, will find himself uniformly 
successful in conquering the clamorings of a depraved 
instinct, and each effort will give him new courage, and 
add to his ability to win future victories. 

Bathing. — A daily bath with cool or tepia water, 
followed by vigorous rubbing of the skin with a coarse 
towel and then with the dry hand, is a most valuable 
aid. The hour of first rising is generally the most con* 
venient time. How to take different kinds of baths is 
explained in other works devoted to the subject.* Gen- 
eral and local cleanliness are indispensable to general 
and local health. 

Religion. — After availing himself of all other aids to 
continence, if he wishes to maintain purity of mind as 
well as physical chastity, — and one cannot exist long 
without the other, — the individual must seek that most 
powerful and helpful of all aids, Divine grace. If, in the 
conflict with his animal nature, man had only to contend 

*See "Uses of Water," "Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene 
and Rational Medicine," and other works by the author. 


with the degrading influences of his own propensities 
the battle would be a serious one, and it is doubtful 
whether human nature alone — at least in any but rare 
cases — would be able to gain the victory ; but in addi- 
tion to his own inherent tendencies to evil, man is as- 
sailed at every point by unseen agencies that seek to 
drag him down and spoil his soul with lust. These 
fiendish influences are only felt, not seen, from which 
some argue that they do not exist. Such casuists must 
find enormous depths for human depravity. But who 
has not felt the cruel power of these unseen foes ? Against 
them, there is but one safe, successful weapon, — " the 
blood of Christ, which cleanseth from all sin." 

The struggling soul, beset with evil thoughts, will 
find in prayer a salvation which all his force of will, and 
dieting, and exercising will not, alone, insure him. Yet 
prayer alone will not avail ; faith and works must always 
be associated. All that one can do to work out his own 
salvation, he must do ; then he can safely trust in God 
to do the rest, even though the struggle seems almost a 
useless one ; for when the soul has been long in bondage 
to concupiscence, the mind a hold of foul and lustful 
thoughts, a panorama of unchaste imagery, these hateful 
phantoms will even intrude themselves upon the sanc- 
tity of prayer, and make their victim mentally unchaste 
upon his knees. But Christ can pity even such ; and 
these degraded minds may yet be pure if, with the 
psalmist, they continue to cry with a true purpose and 
unwavering trust, " Create in me a clean heart, God, 
and renew a right spirit within me." " Purge me with 
hyssop, and I shall be clean ; wash me and I shall be 
whiter than snow." 


At the first suggestion of an evil thought, send up a 
mental prayer to Him whose ear is always open. Prayer 
and impurity are as incompatible as oil and water. The 
pure thoughts that sincere prayer will bring, displace 
the evil promptings of excited passion. But the desire 
for aid must be sincere. Prayer will be of no avail 
while the mind is half consenting to the evil thought. 
The evil must be loathed, spurned, detested. 

It would seem almost unnecessary to suggest the 
impropriety of resorting to prayer alone when sexual 
excitability has arisen from a culpable neglect to remove 
the physical condition of local excitement by the means 
already mentioned. Such physical causes must be well 
looked after, or every attempt to reform will be fruitless. 
God requires of every individual to do for himself all 
that he is capable of doing ; to employ every available 
means for alleviating his sufferings. 




— *&&&& — 

pJPHOU shalt not commit adultery." " Whosoever 
1 looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath com- 

mitted adultery with her already in his heart." 
^ In these two scriptures we have a complete 

definition of unchastity. The seventh commandment, 
with the Saviour's co nmentary upon it, places clearly 
before us the fact that chastity requires purity of 
thought as well as of outward acts Impure thoughts 
and unchaste acts are alike violations of the seventh 
commandment. As we shall see, also, unchastity of 
the mind is a violation of natures law as well as of 
moral law, and is visited with physical punishment 
commensurate to the transgression. 

Mental Unchastity. — It is vain for a man to sup- 
pose himself chaste who allows his imagination to run 
riot amid scenes of amorous associations. The man 
whose lips delight in tales of licentiousness, whose eyes 
feast upon obscene pictures, who is ever ready to per- 
vert the meaning of a harmless word or act into un- 
cleanness, who finds delight in reading vivid portrayals 
of acts of lewdness, — such a one is not a virtuous man. 
Though he may never have committed an overt act of 
unchastity, if he cannot pass a handsome female in the 
street without, in imagination, approaching the secrets of 
her person, he is but one grade above the open libertine, 
and is as truly unchaste as the veriest debauchee. 



Man may not see these mental adulteries, he may 
not perceive these filthy imaginings; but One sees 
and notes them. They leave their hideous scars upon 
the soul. They soil and mar the mind ; and as the 
record of each clay of life is photographed upon the 
books of heaven, they each appear in bold relief, in 
all their innate hideousness. 

purity ! how rare a virtue ! How rare to find a 
face which shows no trace of sensuality ! One turns 
with sadness from the thought that human " forms di- 
vdne" have sunk so low. The standard of virtue is 
trailing in the dust. Men laugh at vice, and sneer at 
purity. The bawdy laugh, the ribald jest, the sensual 
glance, the obscene song, the filthy tale, salute the 
eyes and ears at every street corner, in the horse-car, 
on the railroad train, in the bar-room, the lecture hall, 
the workshop. In short, the works and signs of vice 
are omnipresent. 

Foul thoughts, once allowed to enter the mind, 
stick like the leprosy. They corrode, contaminate, 
and infect like the pestilence; naught but Almighty 
power can deliver from the bondage of concupiscence a 
soul once infected by this foul blight, this mortal con- 

Mental Uncleanness, — It is a wide-spread and deadly 
error, that only outward acts are harmful ; that only 
physical transgression of the laws of chastity will pro- 
duce disease. We have seen all the effects of physical 
abuse resulting from mental sin alone. 

" I have traced serious affections and very great 
suffering to this cause. The cases may occur at any 
period of life. We meet with them frequently among 


such as are usually called, or think themselves, continent 
young men. There are large classes of persons who 
seem to think that they may, without moral guilt, excite 
their own feelings or those of others by loose or libid- 
inous conversation in society, provided such impure 
thoughts or acts are not followed by masturbation or 
fornication. I have almost daily to tell such persons 
that physically, and in a sanitary point of view, they 
are ruining their constitutions. There are young men 
who almost pass their lives in making carnal acquaint- 
ances in the street, but stop just short of seducing girls ; 
there are others who haunt the lower class of places of 
public amusement for the purpose of sexual excitement,, 
and live, in fact, a thoroughly immoral life in all respects 
except actually going home with prostitutes. When 
these men come to me, laboring under the various forms 
of impotence, they are surprised at my suggesting to 
them the possibility that the impairment of their powers 
is dependent upon these previous vicious habits." * 

" Those lascivious day-dreams and amorous reveries^ 
in which young people, and especially the idle and the 
voluptuous and the sedentary and the nervous, are ex- 
ceedingly apt to indulge, are often the source of general 
debility and effeminacy, disordered functions, premature 
disease, and even premature death, without the actual 
exercise of the genital organs ! Indeed, this unchastity 
of thought, this adultery of the mind, is the beginning 
of immeasurable evil to the human family." j- 

Certain phrenologists contend that the controlling 
center of the sexual passions is the cerebellum, or little 
brain, which is situated at the lower and back part of 

* Acton. f Graham. 


the head. They apparently love to dwell upon the theme, 
and ride their hobby upon all possible occasions, often in 
the most disgusting manner, and always leaving the im- 
pression that they must be themselves suffering from 
perversion of the very function of which they speak. 

There may be some doubt whether the function 
called amativeness is located in the cerebellum at all ; 
at least, it is perfectly certain that amativeness is not 
the exclusive function of the cerebellum. Says Carpen- 
ter, the learned physiologist, " The seat of the sexual 
sensation is no longer supposed to be in the cerebellum 
generally, but probably in its central portion, or some 
part of the medulla oblongata." 

The cerebellum is intimately connected with the 
principal vital organs ; hence, if it is largely developed, 
the individual will possess a well-developed physical 
organism, and a good degree of constitutional vigor. 
He will have vigorous health, and probably strong sex- 
ual powers, not, however, as a special function, but 
for the same reason that he will have a good diges 

To the majority of mankind, apparently, amative- 
ness, or sexual love, means lust. The term has been 
lowered and debased until it might almost be considered 
practically synonymous with sensuality. The first step 
toward reform must be a recognition of a higher and 
purer relation than that which centers every thought 
upon the gratification of the animal in human nature. 
If one may judge from the facts which now and then 
come to the surface in society, it would appear that 
the opportunity for sensual gratification had come to 
"be, in the world at large, the chief attraction between 


the sexes. If to these observations we add the filthy 
disclosures constantly made in police courts and scan- 
dal suits, we have a powerful confirmation of the 
opinion. Even ministers, who ought to be " ensamples 
to the flock," are rather "blind leaders of the blind," 
and fall into the same ditch with the rest. 

Filthy Dreamers. — This perversion of a natural in- 
stinct, and these sudden lapses from virtue which 
startle a small portion of the community, and afford a 
filthy kind of pleasure to the other part, are but the 
outgrowths of mental unchastity. " Filthy dreamers," 
before they are aware, become filthy in action. The 
thoughts mold the brain, as certainly as the brain molds 
the thoughts. Rapidly down the current of sensual- 
ity is swept the individual w T ho yields his imagination 
to the contemplation of lascivious themes. Before he 
knows his danger, he finds himself deep in the mire 
of concupiscence. He may preserve a fair exterior; 
but the deception cannot cleanse the slime from his 
putrid soul. How many a church member carries un- 
der a garb of piety a soul filled with abominations, no 
human scrutiny can tell. How many pulpits are filled 
by " whited sepulchers," only the Judgment will disclose. 

Unchaste Conversation. — " Out of the abundance of 
the heart the mouth speaketh." " Every idle word 
that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof 
in the day of Judgment." " By thy words thou shalt 
be condemned." Matt. 12 : 34, 36, 37. In these three 
brief sentences, Christ presents the whole moral aspect 
of the subject of this paragraph. To any one who 
will ponder well his weighty words, no further remark 
is necessary. Let filthy talkers but consider for a 


moment what a multitude of " idle," unclean words are 
waiting for account in the final day; and then let 
them consider what a load of condemnation must roll 
upon their guilty souls when strict justice is meted 
out to every one before the bar of Omnipotence, and in 
the face of all the world — of all the universe. 

The almost universal habit among boys and young 
men of relating filthy stories, indulging in foul jokes, 
making indecent allusions, and subjecting to lewd crit- 
icism every passing female, is a most abominable sin. 
Such habits crush out pure thoughts ; they annihilate 
respect for virtue ; they make the mind a quagmire of 
obscenity ; they lead to overt acts of lewdness. 

But boys and youth are not alone in this. More 
*)ften than otherwise, they gain from older ones the 
phraseology of vice. And if the sin is loathsome in such 
youthful transgressors, what detestable enormity must 
characterize it in the old ! 

Foul Gossip. — And women, too, are not without 
their share in this accursed thing, this ghost of vice, 
which haunts the sewing-circle and the parlor as well as 
the club-room. They do not, of course, often descend to 
those depths of vulgarity to which the coarser sex will 
go, but couch in finer terms the same foul thoughts, and 
hide in loose insinuations more smut than words could 
well express. Some women, who think themselves rare 
paragons of virtue, can find no greater pleasure than in 
the discussion of the latest scandal, speculations about 
the chastity of Mrs. A or Mr. B, and gossip about the 
" fall " of this man's daughter or the amorous adventures 
of that woman's son. 

Masculine purity loves to regard woman as chaste in 


mind as well as in body, to surround her with conceptions 
of purity and impregnable virtue ; but the conclusion is 
irresistible that those who can gloat over others' lapses 
from virtue, and find delight in such questionable enter- 
tainments as the most recent case of seduction, or the 
newest scandal, have need to purify their hearts and re- 
enforce their waning chastity. Nevertheless, a writer 
says, and perhaps truly, that "the women comprise 
about all the real virtue there is in the world." Cer- 
tainly, if they were one-half as bad as the masculine 
portion of humanity, the world would be vastly worse 
than it is. 

Causes of Unchastity. — Travelers among the North 
American Indians have been struck with the almost 
entire absence of that abandonment to vice which might 
be expected in a race uninfluenced by the moral re- 
straints of Christianity. When first discovered in their 
native wilds, they were free from both the vices and the 
consequent diseases of civilization. This fact points unmis- 
takably to the conclusion that there must be something 
in the refinements and perversions of civilized life which 
is unfavorable to chastity, notwithstanding all the re- 
straints which religion and the conventionalisms of 
society impose. Can we find such influences ? — Yes ; 
they abound on every hand, and leave their blight in 
most unwelcome places, oft unsuspected, even, till the 
work of ruin is complete. 

Libidinous Blood. — In no other direction are the 
effects of heredity to be more distinctly traced than in 
the transmission of sensual propensities. The children 
of libertines are almost certain to be rakes and prostitutes. 
History affords numerous examples in illustration of this 


fact. The daughter of Augustus was as unchaste as her 
father, and her daughter was as immoral as herself. 
The sons of David showed evident traces of their father's 
failing. Witness the incest of Amnon, and the voluptu- 
ousness of Solomon, who had seven hundred wives and 
three hundred concubines. Solomon's son was likewise 
a noted polygamist, of whom the record says, " He de- 
sired many wives." His son's son manifested the same 
propensity in taking as many wives as the debilitated 
state of his kingdom enabled him to support. But per- 
haps we may be allowed to trace the origin of this libid- 
inous propensity still farther back. A glance at the 
genealogy of David will show that he was descended 
from Judah through Pharez, who was the result of an 
incestuous union between Judah and his daughter-in-law. 

Is it unreasonable to suppose that the abnormal pas- 
sion which led David to commit the most heinous sin of 
his life in his adultery with Bath-sheba, and subsequently 
procuring the death of her husband, was really an hered- 
itary propensity which had come down to him through 
his ancestors, and which, under more favorable circum- 
stances, was more fully developed in his sons ? The 
trait may have been kept dormant by the active and 
simple habits of his early years, but asserted itself in 
full force under the fostering influence of royal idleness 
and luxury. In accordance with the known laws of 
heredity, such a tendency would be the legitimate result 
of such a combination of circumstances. 

The influence of marital excesses, and especially 
sexual indulgence during pregnancy, in producing vicious 
tendencies in offspring, will be fully dwelt upon else- 
where in this work, and need not be considered here 


further than simply to call attention to the subject. 
Physiology shows conclusively that thousands of parents 
whose sons have become libertines and their daughters 
courtesans, have themselves implanted in their characters 
the propensity which led to their unchastity. 

Early Causes, — The frequent custom of allowing 
children of the opposite sex to sleep together, even until 
eight or ten years of age, or longer, is a dangerous one. 
We have known of instances in which little boys of seven 
or eight have been allowed to sleep with girls of fourteen 
or sixteen, and in some cases most shameful lessons were 
taught, and by persons who would not be suspected of 
such an impropriety. 

In a case which was under the author's care some 
time ago, a young woman, upwards of twenty years of 
age, who had been regarded in her community as a model 
of propriety, and whose character was, in the eyes of her 
friends, beyond reproach, had ruined her life, and brought 
herself almost to the verge of insanity by sexual famil- 
iarity with a little boy less than one-third her own age, 
who had for years been allowed to sleep with her. 

The sexes should be carefully separated from each 
other, at least as early as three or four years of age, 
under all circumstances which could afford opportunity 
for observing the physical differences of the sexes, or in 
any way serve to excite those passions which at this 
tender age should be wholly dormant. 

Diet vs. Chastity, — From earliest infancy to impotent 
old age, under the perverting influence of civilization, 
there is a constant antagonism between diet and purity. 
Sometimes — rarely, we hope — the helpless infant imbibes 
the essence of libidinous desires with its mother's milk, 



and thence receives upon its forming brain the stamp of 
vice. When old enough to take food in the ordinary 
way, the infant's tender organs of digestion are plied 
with highly seasoned viands, stimulating sauces, animal 
food, sweetmeats, and dainty tidbits in endless variety. 
Soon tea and coffee are added to the list. Salt, pepper, 
ginger, mustard, condiments of every sort, deteriorate 
his daily food. If, perchance, he does not die at once 
of indigestion, or with his weakened forces fall a speedy 
victim to the diseases incident to infancy, he has his di- 
gestive organs impaired for life at the very outset of his 

Exciting stimulants and condiments weaken and 
irritate his nerves, and derange the circulation. Thus, 
indirectly, they affect the sexual system, which suf- 
fers through sympathy with the other organs. But a 
more direct injury is done. Flesh, condiments, eggs, 
tea, coffee, chocolate, and all stimulants have a power- 
ful influence directly upon the reproductive organs. 
They increase the local supply of blood ; and through 
nervous sympathy with the brain, the passions are 

Overeating, eating between meals, hasty eating, 
eating indigestible articles of food, ices, late suppers, 
etc., react upon the sexual organs with the utmost 
certainty. Any disturbance of the digestive function 
deteriorates the quality of the blood. Poor blood, filled 
with crude, poorly digested food, is irritating to the 
nervous system, and especially to those extremely deli- 
cate nerves which govern the reproductive function. Ir- 
ritation provokes congestion; congestion excites sexual 
desires ; excited passions increase the local disturbance ; 


and thus each reacts upon the other, ever increasing the 
injury and the liability to future damage. 

When children are raised upon such articles, or upon 
food with which they are thoroughly mingled, what 
wonder that they occasionally u turn out bad " ! How 
many mothers, while teaching their children the princi- 
ples of virtue in the nursery, unwittingly stimulate their 
passions at the dinner table until vice becomes almost a 
physical necessity ! 

Thus these exciting causes continue their insidious 
work through youth and more mature years. Right 
under the eyes of fathers and mothers they work the 
ruin of their children, exciting such storms of passion as 
are absolutely uncontrollable. 

Nothing tends so .powerfully to keep the passions in 
abeyance as a simple diet, free from condiments, espe- 
cially when coupled with a generous amount of exercise. 
Clerical Lapses. — Our most profound disgust is justly 
excited when we hear of laxity of morals in a clergy- 
man. We naturally feel that one whose calling is to 
teach his fellow-men the way of truth and right and 
purity, should himself be free from taint of immorality. 
But when we consider how these ministers are fed, we 
cannot suppress a momentary disposition to excuse, in 
some degree, their fault. When the minister goes out 
to tea, he is served with the richest cake, the choicest 
jellies, the most pungent sauces, and the finest of fine- 
flour bread-stuffs. Little does the indulgent hostess 
dream that she is ministering to the inflammation of 
passions which may imperil the virtue of her daughter, 
or even her own. Salacity once aroused, even in a min- 
ister, allows no room for reason or for conscience. If 


women wish to preserve the virtue of their ministers, let 
them feed them more in accordance with the laws of 
health. Ministers are not immaculate. 

The remedy for the dangers to chastity arising 
from this source, is pointed out in the paragraphs on 
" Continence." 

Tobacco and Vice. — Few are aware of the influence 
upon morals exerted by that filthy habit, tobacco-using. 
When acquired early, it excites the undeveloped organs, 
arouses the passions, and in a few years converts the 
once chaste and pure youth into a veritable volcano of 
lust, belching out from its inner fires of passion, torrents 
of obscenity and the sulphurous fumes of lasciviousness. 
If long continued, the final effect of tobacco is emascula- 
tion ; but this is only the necessary consequence of previous 
super-excitation. The lecherous day-dreams in which 
many smokers indulge, are a species of fornication for 
which even a brute ought to blush, if such a crime were 
possible for a brute. The mental libertine does not 
confine himself to bagnios and women of the town. In the 
foulness of his imagination, he invades the sanctity of 
virtue wherever his erotic fancy leads him. 

When a boy places the first cigar or quid of tobacco 
to his lips, he takes — if he has not previously done so — 
the first step in the road to infamy ; and if he adds wine 
or beer, he takes a short cut to the degradation of his 
manhood by the loss of virtue. 

We are aware that we have made a grave charge 
against tobacco, and we have not hesitated to state the 
naked truth ; yet we do not think we have exaggerated, in 
the least, the pernicious influence of this foul drug. As 
much, or nearly as much, might be said against the use 
of liquor, on the same grounds. 


Obscene Books. — Another potent enemy of virtue is 
the obscene literature which has flooded the land for 
many years. Circulated by secret agencies, these books 
have found their way into the most secluded districts. 
Nearly every large school contains one of these emissaries 
of evil men and their Satanic master. Some idea of the 
enormity and extent of this evil may be gained from the 
following quotations from a published letter of Mr. 
Anthony Comstock, who has been for some time employed 
by the Young Men's Christian Association in suppressing 
the traffic by arresting the publishers and destroying 
their goods : — 

" I have succeeded in unearthing this hydra-headed 
monster in part, as you will see by the following state- 
ment, which, in many respects, might be truthfully in- 
creased in quantity. These I have seized and de- 
stroyed : — 

" Obscene photographs, stereoscopic and other pict- 
ures, more than one hundred and eighty-two thousand ; 
obscene books and pamphlets, more than five tons ; 
obscene letter-press in sheets, more than two tons; 
sheets of impure songs, catalogues, handbills, etc., more 
than twenty-one thousand ; obscene microscopic watch 
and knife charms, and finger-rings, more than five thou- 
sand ; obscene negative plates for printing photographs 
and stereoscopic views, about six hundred and twenty- 
five ; obscene engraved steel and copper plates, three 
hundred and fifty; obscene lithographic stones destroyed, 
twenty ; obscene wood-cut engravings, more than five 
hundred ; stereotype plates for printing obscene books, 
more than five tons ; obscene transparent playing-cards, 
nearly six thousand ; obscene and immoral rubber arti- 


cles, over thirty thousand ; lead molds for manufacturing 
rubber goods, twelve sets, or more than seven hundred 
pounds ; newspapers seized, about four thousand six 
hundred ; letters from all parts of the country ordering 
these goods, about fifteen thousand ; names of dealers in 
account-books seized, about six thousand ; lists of names 
in the hands of dealers, that are sold as merchandise to 
forward circulars or catalogues to, independent of letters 
and account-books seized^ more than seven thousand. 

" These abominations are disseminated by these men 
by first obtaining the names and addresses of scholars 
and students in our schools and colleges, and then for- 
warding circulars. They secure thousands of names in 
this way, either by sending for catalogues of schools, 
seminaries, and colleges, under a pretense of sending a 
child to school ; or else by sending out a circular pur- 
porting to be getting up a directory of all the scholars 
and students in schools and colleges in the United 
States ; or of taking the census of all the unmarried peo- 
ple, and offering to pay five cents per name for lists so- 
sent. I need not say that the money is seldom or never 
sent, but I do say that these names, together with those 
that come in reply to advertisements, are sold to other 
parties ; so that when a man desires to engage in this 
nefarious business, he has only to purchase a list of these 
names, and then your child, be it son or daughter, is 
liable to have thrust into its hands, all unknown to you, 
one of these devilish catalogues. 

" Since the destruction of the stereotype plates of 
old books, secret circulars have been discovered of a 
notice to dealers that twelve new books are in course of 
preparation, and will soon be ready for delivery." 


Says Hon. C. L. Merriam, as quoted by a recent 
writer : " We find that the dealers in obscene literature 
have organized circulating libraries, which are under the 
charge of the most vicious boys in the schools, boys 
chosen and paid by the venders, who circulate among 
the students, at ten cents a volume, any of the one hun- 
dred and forty-four obscene books heretofore published 
in New York City." 

Largely through the influence of Mr. Comstock, laws 
have been enacted which promise to do much toward 
checking this extensive evil, or at least causing it to 
make itself less prominent. Our newspapers still abound 
with advertisements of various so-called medical works ? 
"Marriage Guides," etc., which are fruits of the same 
" upas-tree " that Mr. Comstock has labored so faithfully 
to uproot. 

Sentimental Literature,— It is a painful fact, how- 
ever, that the total annihilation of every foul book which 
the law can reach will not effect the cure of this evil ; for 
our modern literature is full of the same virus. It h 
necessarily presented in less grossly revolting forms., 
half concealed by beautiful imagery, or embellished by 
wit ; but yet, there it is, and no law can reach it. The 
works of our standard authors in literature abound in 
lubricity. Popular novels have doubtless done more to 
arouse a prurient curiosity in the young, and to excite 
and foster passion and immorality, than even the obscene 
literature for the suppression of which such active meas- 
ures have recently been taken. The more exquisitely 
painted the scenes of vice, the more dangerously entic- 
ing. Novel-reading has led thousands to lives of disso- 


City and school libraries, circulating libraries, and 
even Sunday-school libraries, are full of books which, 
though they may contain good moral teaching, contain, 
as well, an element as incompatible with purity of morals 
as is light with midnight darkness. Writers for children 
and youth seem to think a tale of " courtship, love, and 
matrimony " entirely indispensable as a medium for con- 
veying their moral instruction. 

" Religious Novels." — Some of these " religious nov- 
els " are actually more pernicious than the fictions of 
well-known novelists who make no pretense to having 
religious instruction a particular object in view. Sunday- 
school libraries are not often wholly composed of this 
class of works ; but any one who takes the trouble to 
examine the books of such a library, will be able to select 
the most pernicious ones by the external appearance. 
The covers will be well worn, and the edges begrimmed 
w T ith dirt from much handling. Children soon tire of the 
shallow sameness which characterizes the " moral " parts 
of most of these books, and skim lightly over them, 
selecting and devouring with eagerness those portions 
which relate the silly narrative of some love adventure. 
This kind of literature arouses in children premature 
fancies and queries, and fosters a sentimentalism which 
too often occasions most unhappy results. Through 
their influence, young girls are often led to begin a life 
of shame long before their parents are aware that 
a thought of evil has ever entered their minds. 

The following words from the pen of a forcible 
writer* present this matter in none too strong a light : — 

" You may tear your coat or break a vase, and repair 

*T. DeWitt Talmage. 


them again ; but the point where the rip or the fracture 
took place will always be evident. It takes less than 
an hour to do your heart a damage which no time can 
entirely repair. Look carefully over your child's 
library ; see what book it is that he reads after he has 
gone to bed, with the gas turned, upon the pillow. Do 
not always take it for granted that a book is good be- 
cause it is a Sunday-school book. As far as possible, 
know who wrote it, who illustrated it, who published it, 
who sold it. 

A Modern Plague. — u It seems that in the literature 
of the day, the ten plagues of Egypt have returned, and 
the frogs and lice have hopped and skipped over our 
parlor tables. 

" Parents are delighted to have their children read, 
but they should be sure as to what they read. You do 
not have to walk a day or two in an infested district to 
get the cholera or typhoid fever ; and one wave of moral 
unhealth will fever and blast the soul forever. Perhaps, 
knowing not what you did, you read a bad book. Do 
you not remember it altogether ? — Yes ; and perhaps 
you will never get over it. However strong and exalted 
your character, never read a bad book. By the time 
you get through the first chapter, you will see the drift. 
If you find the marks of the hoofs of the devil in the 
picture, or in the style, or in the plot, away with it. 

" But there is more danger, I think, from many of the 
family papers, published once a week, in those stories of 
vice and shame, full of infamous suggestions, going as 
far as they can without exposing themselves to the 
clutch of the law. I name none of them ; but say that 
on some fashionable tables there lie ' family newspapers ' 
that are the very vomit of the pit. 


u The way to ruin is cheap. It costs three dollars ta 
go to Philadelphia ; six dollars to Boston ; thirty-three 
dollars to Savannah ; but, by the purchase of a bad 
paper for ten cents, you may get a through ticket to hell 7 
by express, with few stopping-places, and the final 
halting like the tumbling of the lightning train down the 
draw-bridge at Norwalk — sudden, terrific, deathful, 
never to rise." 

Idleness. — This evil is usually combined with the 
preceding. To maintain purity, the mind must be 
occupied. If left without occupation, the vacuity is 
quickly filled with unchaste thoughts. Nothing can be 
worse for a child than to be reared in idleness. His 
morals will be certain to suffer. Incessant mental oc- 
cupation is the only safeguard against unchastity. 
Those worthless fops who spend their lives in " killing 
time " by lounging about bar-rooms, loafing on street 
corners, or strutting up and down the boulevard, are 
anything but chaste. Those equally worthless young 
women who waste their lives on sofas or in easy-chairs, 
occupied only with some silly novel, or idling away life's 
precious hours in reverie, — such creatures are seldom 
the models of purity one would wish to think them. 
If born with a natural propensity toward sin, such a life 
would soon engender a diseased, impure imagination, if 
nothing worse. 

Dress and Sensuality.— There are two ways in which 
fashionable dress leads to unchastity; viz., 1. By its 
extravagance ; 2. By its abuse of the body. 

How does extravagance lead to unchastity ? — By 
creating the temptation to sin. It affects not those 
gorgeously attired ladies who ride in fine carriages, and 


live in brown-stone fronts, who are surrounded with all 
the luxuries that wealth can purchase — fine apparel is 
no temptation to such. But to less favored, though not 
less worthy ones, these magnificent displays of millinery 
goods and fine trappings are most powerful temptations. 
The poor seamstress, who can earn by diligent toil 
hardly enough to pay her board bill, has no legitimate 
way by which to deck herself with the finery she 
admires. Plainly dressed as she must be if she remains 
honest and retains her virtue, she is scornfully ignored 
by her proud sisters. Everywhere she finds it a generally 
recognized fact that "dress makes the lady." On the 
street, no one steps aside to let her pass, no one stoops to 
regain for her the package that slips from her weary 
hands. Does she enter a crowded car? No one offers 
her a seat, though she is trembling with fatigue, while 
the showily dressed woman who follows her is accom- 
modated at once. She marks the difference ; she does 
not pause to count the cost, but barters away her self- 
respect to gain the respect, or deference, of strangers. 

How Young Women Fall. — It has been authorita- 
tively stated that there are, in our large cities, hundreds 
of young women who, being able to earn barely enough 
to buy food and fuel and pay the rent of a dismal attic, 
take the advice offered by their employers, " Get some 
gentleman friend to dress you for your company." 
Others spend all their small earnings to keep themselves 
" respectably " dressed, and share the board and lodgings 
of some young roue as heartless as incontinent. Persons 
unaccustomed to city life, and thousands of people in 
the very heart of our great metropolis, have no concep- 
tion of the frightful prevalence of this kind of prostitu- 


tion. Young women go to our large cities as pure as 
snow. They find no lucrative employment. Daily 
contact with vice obtunds their first abhorrence of it. 
Gradually it becomes familiar. A fancied life of ease 
presents allurements to a hard-worked sewing-girl. 
Fine clothes and comfortable lodgings increase the temp- 
tation. She yields, and barters her body for a home 
without the trouble of a marriage ceremony. 

Wealthy women could do more to cure the " social 
evil " by adopting plain attire, than all the civil authori- 
ties by passing license laws or regulating ordinances. 
Have not Christian women a duty here ? A few years 
ago, some Nashville ladies made a slight move in the 
right direction, as is indicated in the following paragraph ; 
but we have not heard that their example has been fol- 
lowed : — 

" The lady members of the First Baptist Church, of 
Nashville, Tenn., have agreed that they will dispense 
with all finery on Sunday, wearing no jewels but consist- 
ency, and hereafter appear at church in plain calico 

A more radical reform would have been an extension 
of the salutary measure to all other days of the week as 
well as Sunday ; though we see no reason for restricting 
the material of clothing to calico, which might, indeed, 
be rather insufficient for some seasons of the year. 

Fashion and Vice. — Let us glance at another way 
in which dress lends its influence to vice, by obstructing 
the normal functions of the body. 1. Fashion requires 
a woman to compress her waist with bands or corsets. 
In consequence, the circulation of the blood toward the 
heart is obstructed. The venous blood is crowded back 


into the delicate organs of generation. Congestion en- 
sues, and with it, through reflex action, the unnatural ex- 
citement of the animal propensities. 2. The manner of 
wearing the clothing, suspending several heavy garments 
from the hips, increases the same difficulty by bringing 
too large a share of clothing where it is least needed, 
thus generating unnatural local heat. 3. The custom of 
clothing the feet and limbs so thinly that they are ex- 
posed to constant chilling, by still further unbalanc- 
ing the circulation, adds another element to increase 
the local mischief. 

All these causes combined, operating almost con- 
stantly, — with others that might be mentioned, — pro- 
duce permanent local congestion, with ovarian and 
uterine derangements. The latter affections have long 
been recognized as the chief pathological condition in 
hysteria, and especially in that peculiar form of disease 
known as nymphomania, under the excitement of which 
a young woman, naturally chaste and modest, may be 
impelled to the commission of the most wanton acts. 
The pernicious influence of fashionable dress in occasion- 
ing this disorder cannot be doubted. 

Reform in Dress Needed.— The remedy for these 
evils, the only way to escape them, is reformation. The 
dress must be so adjusted to the body that every organ 
will be allowed free movement. No corset, band, belt, 
or other means of constriction, should impede the circula- 
tion. Garments should be suspended from the shoulders 
by means of a waist, or by proper suspenders. The 
limbs should be as warmly clad as any other portion of 
the body. How best to secure these requirements of 
health may be learned from several excellent works on 


dress reform, any of which can be readily obtained of 
the publishers of this work or their agents. 

Fashionable Dissipation.— The influence of so im- 
portant an agent for evil in this direction as fashionable 
dissipation, cannot be ignored. By fashionable dissipa- 
tion we mean that class of excesses in the indulgence in 
which certain classes, usually the more wealthy or aris- 
tocratic, pride themselves. Among this class of persons 
a man who is known to be a common drunkard would 
not be recognized ; such a person would be carefully 
shunned ; yet a total abstainer would be avoided with 
almost equal care, and would be regarded as a fanatic or 
an extremist at least. With this class, wine-drinking is 
considered necessary as a matter of propriety. Along 
with wine are taken a great variety of highly seasoned 
foods, spices, and condiments in profusion, with rich 
meats and all sorts of delicacies, rich desserts, etc., 
which can hardly be considered much less harmful than 
stimulants of a more generally recognized character. 

These indulgences excite that part of the system 
which generally needs restraint rather than stimulation. 
A participant, an ex-governor, recently described to us a 
grand political dinner given in honor of a noted Ameri- 
can citizen, which began at 5 p. m. and continued until 
nearly midnight, continuous courses of food, wines, etc., 
being served for nearly six hours. Similar scenes have 
been enacted in a score of our large cities for the same 
ostensible purpose. Knowing that public men are ad- 
dicted to such gormandizing on numerous occasions, we 
do not wonder that so many of them are men of loose 

The Influence of Luxury.— The tendency of luxury 


is toward demoralization. Rome never became dissipated 
and corrupt until her citizens became wealthy, and 
adopted luxurious modes of living. Nothing is more con- 
ducive to sound morals than full occupation of the mind 
with useful labor. Fashionable idleness is a foe to 
virtue. The young man or the young woman who 
wastes the precious hours of life in listless dreaming, or 
in that sort of senseless twaddle which forms the bulk of 
the conversation in some circles, is in very great danger 
of demoralization. Many of the usages and customs of 
fashionable society seem to open the door to vice, and 
to insidiously, and at first unconsciously, lead the young 
and inexperienced away from the paths of purity and 
virtue. There is good evidence that the amount of im- 
morality among what are known as the higher classes, 
is every year increasing. Every now and then a scan- 
dal in high life comes to the surface ; but the great mass 
of corruption is effectually hidden from the general 
public. Open profligacy is of course frowned upon in 
all respectable circles ; and yet wealth and accomplish- 
ments will cover a multitude of sins. 

This freedom allowed to the vile and vicious is one 
of the worst features of fashionable society. Such per- 
sons carry about them a moral atmosphere more deadly 
than the dreaded upas-tree. 

Round Dances.— Whatever apologies may be offered 
for other forms of the dance as ameans of exercise under 
certain restrictions, employed as a form of calisthenics, 
no such excuse can be framed in defense of "round 
dances," especially of the waltz. In addition to the 
associated dissipation, late hours, fashionable dressing, 
midnight feasting, exposures through excessive exer- 


tions, improper dress, etc., it can be shown most clearly 
that dancing has a direct influence in stimulating the 
passions, and provoking unchaste desires, which too 
often lead to unchaste acts, and are in themselves vio- 
lations of the requirements of strict morality, and pro- 
ductive of injury to both mind and body. 

Said the renowned Petrarch, " The dance is the spur 
of lust, — a circle of which the devil himself is the 
center. Many women that use it have come dishonest 
home, most indifferent, none better." 

A Woman's View of Dancing.— We quote the fol- 
lowing from a letter written to a friend by a woman 
of great ability and strength of mind, of unblemished 
character and national reputation, and in response to his 
request for her opinion of the dance. The statements 
made in this remarkable letter are so clear and convinc- 
ing that every parent ought to read it : — 

" I will venture to lay bare a young girl's heart and 
mind by giving my own experience in the days when I 

" In those days I cared little for Polka or Varsovienne, 
and still less for the old-fashioned 6 Money Musk ' or 
' Virginia Reel/ and wondered what people could find to 
admire in those c slow dances.' But in the soft floating 
of the waltz I found a strange pleasure, rather difficult 
to intelligibly describe. The mere anticipation fluttered 
my pulse, and when my partner approached to claim my 
promised hand for the dance, I felt my cheeks glow a 
little sometimes, and I could not look him in the eyes 
with the same frank gayety as heretofore. 

" I am speaking openly and frankly, and when I say 
that I did not understand what I felt, or what were the 


real and greatest pleasures I derived from this so-called 
dancing, I expect to be believed. But if my cheeks 
grew red with uncomprehended pleasure then, they grow 
pale with shame to-day when I think of it all. It was 
the physical emotions engendered by the contact of 
strong men that I was enamored of, — not of the dance, 
nor even of the men themselves. 

" Girls talk to each other. I was still a school-girl, 
although mixing so much with the world. We talked 
together. We read romances that fed our romantic pas- 
sions on seasoned food, and none but ourselves knew 
what subjects we discussed. Had our parents heard us, 
they would have considered us on the high road to ruin. 

" Yet we had been taught that it was right to dance ; 
our parents did it, our friends did it, and we were per- 
mitted. I will say also that all the girls with whom I 
associated, with the exception of one, had much the same 
experience in dancing. 

" Married now, with home and children around me, 
I can at least thank God for the experience which will 
assuredly be the means of preventing my little daughters 
from indulging in any such dangerous pleasure. 

" I doubt if my experience will be of much service, 
but it is the candid truth, from a woman who, in the 
cause of all the young girls who may be contaminated, 
desires to show just to what extent a young mind may 
be defiled by the injurious effects of round dances. I 
have not hesitated to lay bare what are a young girl's 
most secret thoughts, in the hope that people will stop 
and consider, at least, before handing their lilies of 
purity over to the arms of any one who may choose to 
blow the frosty breath of dishonor on their petals." 


Much more might be added on this important sub- 
ject, would the limits of this work allow ; but this must 
suffice. We beg the reader to consider carefully and 
prayerfully the facts presented before deciding that 
dancing is so harmless as many persons suppose. 

Physical Causes of Unchastity. — Some of the phys- 
ical causes of impurity in women have been previously 
referred to, since it is through physical injuries that un- 
healthful clothing exerts its influence. Too little is 
generally known of the intimate connection between 
physical and mental conditions. Doubtless, many vices 
originate in physical imperfections. Indeed, when the 
full bearing of physical influences upon the mind is al- 
lowed, it is difficult to avoid pleading extenuating cir- 
cumstances in the cases of the greater share of trans- 
gressors of both moral and civil laws. This principle is 
especially applicable to sexual relations. 

In males, one of the most general physical causes of 
sexual excitement is constipation. The vesicula seminalis, 
in which the seminal fluid is stored, is situated, as will 
be remembered, at the base of the bladder. It thus has 
the bladder in front and the rectum behind. In consti- 
pation, the rectum becomes distended with feces — effete 
matter which should have been promptly evacuated, in- 
stead of being allowed to accumulate. This hardened 
mass presses upon the parts most intimately concerned 
in the sexual act, causing excessive local excitement. 
When this condition is chronic, as in habitual constipation, 
the unnatural excitement often leads to most serious re- 
sults. One of these is the production of a horrible 
disease, satyriasis, the nature of which has been pre- 
viously indicated. 


Constipation in females has the same tendency, though 
the dangers are not quite so great. The irritation is 
sufficient, however, to lead to excitement of the passions. 

Intestinal worms often produce the same result in 

Local uncleanliness is another very frequent cause 
which is often overlooked. The natural local secretions 
quickly become a source of great irritation if not removed 
by daily washing. Certain anatomical peculiarities 
sometimes exist in the male, which greatly aggravate 
this difficulty, and for which circumcision, or an equiva- 
lent operation, is the remedy. 

Irritation of the bladder, producing incontinence of 
urine, is another enemy to chastity. It should receive 
prompt attention and treatment. In children, this 
irritability is indicated by wetting of the bed at night. 
In cases of this kind, allow the child little drink in the 
latter portion of the day. See that the bladder is 
emptied just before he goes to bed. Wake him once or 
twice during the night, and have him urinate. Use all 
possible means to remove the cause of irritation by 
giving him plenty of out-of-door exercise and a very 
simple, though nutritious, diet. Avoid meat, eggs, and 

Leucorrhoea is a cause as well as a result of unchastity 
in females. The discharge produces abnormal excite- 
ment, and attracts the attention of the individual to the 
parts, causing relief to be sought by rubbing, and thus 
still further excitement is provoked, and an evil practice 

Modern Modes of Life. — Aside from all the causes 
already enumerated, there are many other conditions 


and circumstances, the result of modern habits of living, 
that tend directly toward the excitement of sensuality. 
Superheated rooms, sedentary employments, the devel- 
opment of the mental and nervous organizations at the 
expense of the muscular, the cramming system in schools, 
too long confinement of school-children in a sitting posi- 
tion, the allowance of too great freedom between the 
sexes in the young, the demoralizing influence of many 
varieties of public amusement, balls, church fairs, and 
other like influences too numerous to mention, all tend 
in the one direction, that of abnormal excitation and 
precocious development of the sexual functions. 

It is not an exaggeration to say that for one conform- 
ing to modern modes of living, eating, sleeping, and 
drinking, absolute chastity is next to an absolute impos- 
sibility. This would certainly be true without a special 
interposition of Providence ; but Providence never works 
miracles to obviate the results of voluntary sin. 

Nervous Irritability.— One of the results of the fast 
life led by the majority of persons in civilized countries, 
is the production of what has been denominated the nevr 
rotic temperament^ a condition in which the nervous system 
is unduly active and excitable. This condition is always 
accompanied by a deficiency of nerve tone. This means 
that the nerve centers which control the various functions 
of the body are more excitable and less under control of 
the will and other dominating and governing centers 
than in health. The consequence of this condition is a 
tendency to irregularity in the activity of the various 
vital functions, especially an exaggeration of the activity 
of those functions which are particularly called out by 
the emotions and propensities. This depraved condition 


of the body constitutes a physical bias in the direction of 
vice and crime of all sorts. All the violent passions, such 
as irritability of temper and sensuality, are more readily 
excited to activity, and when in action, are more intense 
than in a healthy individual. This lowered nerve tone 
is also accompanied by a lowered mental tone, and a 
corresponding lowering of moral tone ; so that while the 
propensities are unnaturally strong, the will by which 
they should be controlled is unusually weak. This state 
of things renders the individual an easy prey to vice, 
and particularly to that most overmastering of all the 
passions, sensuality. From this same morbid condition 
•comes a growing tendency to the drink habit, and the 
ready acquirement of the use of tobacco and other nar- 
cotics, which in turn steadily increase the morbid condi- 
tion referred to, and thus accelerate the tendency in the 
direction of sensuality and vice. 

This tendency among civilized people is to be com- 
bated by having greater attention given to health culture; 
to the training of the muscles by thorough and system- 
atic gymnastic exercise ; to the connection of manual la- 
bor and manual training departments with our educational 
institutions ; and to the encouragement of agricultural 
and other forms of muscular employment. The mind 
need not be trained less, but the body, more. Indeed, 
a better kind of mental discipline would prove one of the 
most effective means of checking the development of this 
morbid tendency. Self-control and self-discipline should 
be cultivated from the earliest period in the education 
of every child. 

It is indisputable that sexual vices are far less prev- 
alent among those barbarous tribes who live much in the 


open air and obtain their sustenance by such arduous 
means as hunting and the gathering of the meager 
products of the forest and the untilled soil, than among 
civilized people ; and it is also a fact that among civil- 
ized people, sensuality is far more prevalent with the 
nervous, excitable classes — those who are inferiorly 
developed physically, and whose occupations are not 
laborious — than among the agricultural population, and 
other classes whose occupation calls for vigorous exercise 
of the muscles. The most effective method of antagoniz- 
ing vice among these classes, is to improve their condition 
physically, and to give muscular employments to antidote 
the tendency in their constitutions by which they become 
dangerous to the moral health of the community. 

UNCI! AS TITT. \ 99 


Illicit intercourse has been a common vice of human- 
ity from the earliest period of history. At the present 
moment, it is a loathsome ulcer, eating at the heart of 
civilization ; a malignant leprosy, which shows its hideous 
deformities amidst the fairest results of modern culture. 
Our large cities abound with dens of vice whose habitues 
shamelessly promenade the most public streets, and 
flaunt their infamy in the face of every passer-by. In 
many large cities, especially in those of Continental 
Europe, these holds of vice are placed under the super- 
vision of the law by the requirement that every keeper 
of a house of prostitution must pay a license ; in 
other words, must buy the right to lead his fellow-men 
" down to the lowest depths of hell." 

In small cities, as well as in large ones, in fact, from 
the great metropolis down to the country village, the 
haunts of vice are found. Every army is flanked by 
bands of courtesans. Wherever men go, loose women 
follow, penetrating even to the wildness of the miner's 
camp, far beyond the verge of civilization. 

But brothels and traveling strumpets do not fully 
represent the vast extent of this monster evil. There is 
a class of immoral women — probably exceeding in num- 
bers the grosser class just referred to — who consider 
themselves respectable, indeed, who are so considered by 
the public. Few are acquainted with their character. 
They live in elegant style, and mingle in genteel society. 
Privately, they prosecute the most unbounded licentious- 
ness, for the purpose of gain, or merely to gratify their 


lewdness. " Kept mistresses " are much more numerous 
than common prostitutes. 

The numerous scandal and divorce suits which ex- 
pose the infidelity of husbands and wives, are sufficient 
evidence that illicit commerce is not confined to the 
unmarried ; but so many are the facilities for covering 
and preventing the results of sins of this description that 
it is impossible to form any just estimate of their fre- 
quency. The incontinence of husbands and the unchas- 
tity of wives will only appear in their enormity at that 
awful day when every one shall " stand before the 
judgment-seat," and receive the penalty of his guilty 

Unchastity in Ancient Times.— We would fain 
believe the present to be the most licentious age the 
world has ever known ; that in the nineteenth century 
the climax of evil has been reached ; that the libidinous 
blood of all ages has culminated to produce a race of 
men more carnal than all their predecessors. It is a sick- 
ening thought that any previous epoch could have been 
more vile than this ; but history presents facts which dis- 
close in ancient times periods when lust was even more 
uncontrolled than now ; when vice was universal ; and 
when virtue was a thing unknown. A few references 
to his torical facts will establish this point. We do not 
make these allusions in any way to justify the present 
immorality, but to show the part which vice has acted 
in the overthrow of nations. 

From the Sacred Record we may judge that before 
the flood, a state of corruption prevailed which was even 
greater and more general than any that has ever since 
been reached ; only eight persons were fit to survive the 


calamity which swept into eternity that lustful genera- 
tion with their filthy deeds. 

But men soon fell into vice again ; for we find among 
the early Assyrians a total disregard of chastity. Their 
kings reveled in the grossest sensuality. 

No excess of vice could surpass the licentiousness of 
the Ptolemies, who made of Alexandria a bagnio, and all 
Egypt a hot-bed of vice. Herodotus relates that "the 
pyramid of Cheops was built by the lovers of the daugh- 
ter of this king ; and that she never would have raised 
this monument to such a hight except by multiplying her 
prostitutions." History also relates the adventures of 
that queenly courtesan, Cleopatra, who captivated and 
seduced by her charms two masters of the world, and 
whose lewdness surpassed even her beauty. 

Tyre and Sidon, Media, Phoenicia, Syria, and all the 
Orient were sunk in sensuality. Fornication was made 
a part of their worship. Women carried through the 
streets of the cities the most obscene and revolting rep- 
resentations. Among all these nations a virtuous woman 
was not to be found ; for, according to Herodotus, the, 
young women were by the laws of the land " obliged, 
once in their lives, to give themselves up to the desires of 
strangers in the temple of Venus, and were not permit- 
ted to refuse any one." * 

St. Augustine speaks of these religious debaucheries 
as still practiced in his day in Phoenicia. They were 
even continued until Constantine destroyed the temples 
in which they were prosecuted, in the fourth century. 

Among the Greeks the same corruptions prevailed in 
the worship of Bacchus and Phallus, which was cele- 

* Bourgeois. 


brated by processions of half-nude girls " performing 
lascivious dances with men disguised as satyrs." In 
fact, as X. Bourgeois says, " Prostitution was in repute 
in Greece." The most distinguished women were courte- 
sans, and the wise Socrates would be justly called, in 
modern times, a libertine. 

The abandonment to lust was, if possible, still more 
complete in the times of the Roman emperors. Rome 
astonished the universe " by the boldness of its turpi- 
tudes, after having astonished it by the splendor of its 

The great Csesar was such a rake that he has been 
said to have " merited to be surnamed every woman's 
husband." Antony and Augustus were equally notorious. 
The same sensuality pervaded the masses as reigned in 
the courts, and was stimulated by the erotic poems of 
Ovid, Catullus, and other poets of the time. 

Tiberius displayed such ingenuity in inventing re- 
finements in impudicity that it was necessary to coin 
new words to designate them. Caligula committed the 
horrid crime of incest with all his sisters, even in public. 
His palace was a brothel. The Roman empress, Mes- 
salina, disguised herself as a prostitute, and excelled 
the most degraded courtesans in her monstrous debauch- 
eries. The Roman emperor, Vitellius, was accustomed 
to take an emetic after having eaten to repletion, to en- 
able him to renew his gluttony. With still grosser sen- 
suality he stimulated his satiated passions with philters 
and various aphrodisiac mixtures. 

Nero, the most infamous of the emperors, committed 
rapes on the stage of the public theaters of Rome, 
disguised as a wild beast. 


If this degraded voluptuousness had been confined to 
royalty, some respect might yet be entertained for the 
virtue of the ancients ; but the foul infection was not 
restrained within such narrow bounds. It invaded 
whole empires until they fell in pieces from very rotten- 

In the thirteenth century, virtue was almost as scarce 
in France as in ancient Greece. Nobles held as mis- 
tresses all the young girls of their domains. About 
every fifth person was a bastard. Just before the Revo- 
lution, chastity was such a rarity that, according to 
one writer, a woman was actually obliged to apologize 
for being virtuous ! 

In these disgusting facts we find one of the most 
potent agents in effecting the downfall of the nations. 
Licentiousness sapped their vitality and weakened their 
prowess. The men who conquered the world were led 
captive by their own beastly passions. Thus the As- 
syrians, the Medes, the Grecians, the Romans, succes- 
sively fell victims to their lusts, and gave way to more 
virtuous successors. Even the Jews, the most enlight- 
ened people of their age, fell more than once through 
this same sin, coupled with idolatry, of which their 
seduction by the Midianites is an example. 

Surely, modern times present no worse spectacles of 
carnality than these ; and will it be claimed that any- 
thing so vile is seen among civilized nations at the present 
day ? But though there may be less grossness in the 
sensuality of to-day, the moral turpitude of men may be 
even greater than that of ancient times. Enlightened 
Christianity has raised the standard of morality. Christ's 
commentary upon the seventh commandment requires 


a more rigorous chastity than ancient standards de- 
manded, even among the Jews ; for had not David, 
Solomon, and even the pious Jacob more wives than 
one ? Consequently, a slight breach of chastity now 
requires as great a fall from virtue as a greater lapse in 
ages past, and must be attended with as severe a moral 

State of Modern Society. — But we are not quite cer- 
tain that the condition of modern society as regards 
chastity is much superior to that of periods of the 
world to which reference has been made. While on 
a tour through Europe, a few years ago, the author 
took some pains to gather facts upon this point from 
various authentic sources, and was amazed at the enor- 
mous prevalence of sexual crimes in the great and 
oldest centers of modern civilization. In Paris, the 
places of amusement and public resort are thronged 
with brazen courtesans, watching for victims ; and in 
the numerous picture shops which line the Rue de Rivoli, 
the most obscene pictures and photographs are exposed 
for sale, with almost no attempt at secrecy. In Stock- 
holm, the government statistics show more than forty 
per cent of all the births to be illegitimate, and in 
Vienna the state of morals is no better, and^venereal 
diseases are so nearly universal that a physician of 
wide acquaintance with the inhabitants of this great 
German metropolis, has declared that three-fourths of 
the entire population are syphilized. 

In Naples, lasciviousness stalks abroad at all 
hours of the day and night. Women sell their souls 
for a few farthings, and the debauched people vie 
with one another in imitating the horrible obscenities 


and sexual sins of the Roman Sodom and Gomorrah — 
Pompeii and Herculaneum — and that with the terrible 
judgment which fell upon these dens of iniquity daily be- 
fore their eyes, while just above them still towers the 
stern old Vesuvius, from whose fiery bowels were in 
olden times poured out the vials of Almighty wrath, 
and in which are still heard the mutterings of a day 
of wrath sure to come. 

The Pall Mall Gazette Exposures,— In London, the 
boasted " center of modern civilization," the number of 
women who are leading lives of shame and ignominy 
is sufficiently great to people a large city or a small 
province. In no city are the signs of vice and igno- 
rance more plainly seen than in the metropolis of the 
world. Within a few weeks of the present writing, 
the whole of Christendom has been more than startled 
by the horrible revelations of the Pall Mall Gazette , 
a few extracts from which will give the reader an 
opportunity to form something of an idea of the ghastly 
exhibition of worse than beastly sensuality which stands 
at the very center of modern culture and civilization, and 
according to the reports referred to, is even fostered by 
princes and royal personages, as well as the professional 
libertine and wealthy debauchee. 

" The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon. 

"In ancient times, if we may believe the myths 
of Hellas, Athens, after a disastrous campaign, was 
compelled by her conqueror to send once every nine 
years a tribute to Crete of seven youths and seven 
maidens. The doomed fourteen, who were selected by 
lot amid the lamentations of the citizens, returned no 


more. The vessel that bore them to Crete unfurled 
black sails as the symbol of despair, and on arrival, her 
passengers were flung into the famous Labyrinth of 
Daedalus, there to wander about blindly until such time 
as they were devoured by the Minotaur, a frightful 
monster, half man, half bull, the foul product of an un- 
natural lust. ' The labyrinth was as large as a town, 
and had countless courts and galleries. Those who en- 
tered it could never find their way out again. If they 
hurried from one to another of the numberless rooms, 
looking for the entrance door, it was all in vain. They 
only became more hopelessly lost in the bewildering 
labyrinth, until at last they were devoured by the Mino- 

" Twice, at each ninth year, the Athenians paid 
the maiden tribute to King Minos, lamenting sorely the 
dire necessity of bowing to his iron law. When the 
third tribute came to be exacted, the distress of the 
city of the Violet Crown was insupportable. From the 
King's palace to the peasant's hamlet, everywhere were 
heard cries and groans and the choking sob of despair, 
until the whole air seemed to vibrate with the sorrow 
of an unutterable anguish. Then it was that the hero 
Theseus volunteered to be offered up among those who 
drew the black balls from the brazen urn of destiny, and 
the story of his self-sacrifice, his victory, and his tri- 
umphant return, is among the most familiar of the tales 
which, since the childhood of the world, have kindled 
the imagination and fired the heart of the human race. 
The labyrinth was cunningly wrought like a house, says 
Ovid, with many rooms and winding passages, that so 
the shameful creature of lust, whose abode it was to be, 


should be far removed from sight. And what happened 
to the victims — the young men and maidens — who were 
there interned, no one could surely tell. Some say that 
they were done to death ; others that they lived in 
servile employments to old age. But in this alone do 
all the stories agree, that those who were once caught in 
the coils, could never retrace their steps, so c inextrica- 
ble ' were the paths, so c blind ' the footsteps, so i innu- 
merable ' the ways of wrong-doing. 

" The fact that the Athenians should have taken so 
bitterly to heart the paltry maiden tribute that once in 
nine years they had to pay to the Minotaur, seems in- 
credible, almost inconceivable. This very night in Lon- 
don, and every night, year in and year out, not seven 
maidens only, but many times seven, selected almost as 
much by chance as those who in the Athenian market- 
place drew lots as to which should be flung into the 
Cretan labyrinth, will be offered up as the Maiden Trib- 
ute of Modern Babylon. Maidens they were when this 
morning dawned, but to-night their ruin will be accom- 
plished, and to-morrow they will find themselves within 
the portals of the maze of London brotheldom. Within 
that labyrinth wander, like lost souls, the vast host of 
London prostitutes, whose number no man can compute, 
but who are probably not much below 50,000 strong. 
Many, no doubt, who venture but a little way within 
the maze, make their escape. But multitudes are swept 
irresistibly on and on, to be destroyed in due season, to 
give place to others, who also will share their doom. 
The maw of the London Minotaur is insatiable, and none 
that go into the secret recesses of his lair return again. 
After some years of dolorous wandering in this palace of 


despair, — for ' hope of rest to solace there is none, nor 
e'en of milder pang/ save the poisonous anodyne of 
drink, — most of those insnared to-night will perish, 
some of them in horrible torture. Yet, so far from this 
great city's being convulsed with woe, London cares for 
none of these things, and the cultured man of the world, 
the heir of all the ages, the ultimate product of a long 
series of civilizations and religions, will shrug his 
shoulders in scorn at the folly of any one who ventures 
in public print to raise even the mildest protest against 
a horror a thousand times more horrible than that which 
in the youth of the world, haunted like a nightmare the 
imagination of mankind." 

The writer in the Pall Mall Gazette classifies the 
crimes exposed by the investigation as follows : — 

1. The sale and purchase and violation of children. 

2. The procuration of virgins. 

3. The entrapping and ruin of women. 

4. The internal slave trade in girls. 

5. Atrocities, brutalities, and unnatural crimes. 
The writer details numerous cases in which girls 

varying in age from eleven to fifteen were purchased for 
immoral purposes at prices ranging from a sovereign to 
several pounds. In most of these cases, the children 
were wholly unaware of the nature of the transaction, 
and were procured for wealthy and worn-out debauchees, 
some of whom were willing to pay as high as £20 or 
£30 for a " good mark," which means, in the language 
of the London brothel, a good-looking little girl. 

The revelations made by the Gazette, and confirmed 
by the investigation which followed the disclosure, indi- 
cate that this business is carried on in London on a very 


large scale, thousands of little girls being annually 
enticed from home for immoral purposes, or purchased 
from drunken fathers and mothers, who never inquire 
concerning their whereabouts after they are out of their 
sight. The horrible fact was also elicited by investiga- 
tion that there are persons in London who make a regu- 
lar business of rearing girls for the brothel market. The 
atrocities practiced upon them are too horrible for 
description in a work like this, but it would be well for 
mothers to read carefully the following paragraph from 
the Gazette : — 

" The Responsibility of Mothers. — The ignorance of 
these girls is almost incredible. It is one of the greatest 
scandals of Protestant training that parents are allowed 
to keep their children in total ignorance of the simplest 
truths of physiology, without even a rudimentary con- 
ception of the nature of sexual morality. Catholic children 
are much better trained ; and whatever may be the case 
in other countries, the chastity of Catholic girls is much 
greater than that of Protestants in the same social strata. 
Owing to the soul-and-body-destroying taciturnity of 
Protestant mothers, girls often arrive at the age of legal 
womanhood in total ignorance, and are turned loose to 
contend with all the wiles of the procuress and the 
temptations of the seducer without the most elementary 
acquaintance with the laws of their own existence. 
Experientia docet ; but in this case the first experience 
is too often that of violation. Even after the act has 
been consummated, all that they know is that they got 
badly hurt ; but they think of it and speak of it exactly 
in the same way as if it meant no more for them than 
the pulling out of a tooth. Even more than the scandal- 



ous state of the law, the culpable refusal of mothers to 
explain to their daughters the realities and the dangers 
of their existence, contributes to fill the brothels of 

The committee appointed to investigate the charges 
of the Pall Mall Gazette, which included Cardinal Man- 
ning, Archbishop of Canterbury, and other eminent gen- 
tlemen, reported as follows : — 

"After carefully sifting the evidence of witnesses, 
and the material before us, and without guaranteeing 
the accuracy of every particular, we are satisfied that, 
taken as a whole, the statements in the Pall Mall Gazette 
on this question are substantially true." 

Nor are these terrible practices confined to the Old 
World. Any one who is at all acquainted with the police 
records of our large cities, must be fully aware of the 
fact that crimes approximately as enormous in extent, if 
not fully as great, are perpetrated constantly in New 
York and other great American cities. In her address 
presented at the eleventh annual meeting of the National 
Woman's Christian Temperance Union, held at Philadel- 
phia, Miss Frances E. Willard, the President of that 
great organization, in dwelling upon the need of an active 
department for the suppression of the social evil, re- 
marked as follows : — 

" The effect upon our minds of such unspeakable dis- 
closures as those of the Pall Mall Gazette, and the 
horrible assurances given us by such authority as Dr. 
Elizabeth Blackwell, that we should uncap perdition in 
the same direction were the hidden life of our own great 
cities known, has so stirred the heart of womanhood 
throughout this land, that we are, I trust, ready for an 


advance. Had we to-day the right woman in this place 
of unequaled need and opportunity, we could be instru- 
mental in the passage of such laws as would punish the 
outrage of defenseless girls and women by making the 
repetition of such outrage an impossibility. Women 
only can induce lawmakers to furnish this most availing 
of all possible methods of protection to the physically 
weak. Men alone will never gain the courage thus to 
legislate against other men. Crimes against women 
seem to be upon the increase everywhere. Three years 
ago the Chicago Inter Ocean gathered from the press in 
three weeks, forty cases of the direst outrage, sixteen of 
the victims being girls. In a majority of cases, where 
the gentler sex is thus hunted to its ruin, or lured to the 
same pit in a more gradual way, strong drink is the 
devil's kindling-wood of passion, as everybody knows. 
Hence the relation of this most sacred work to that of 
the W. C. T. U. is so close that the press, through some 
of its noblest representatives, has, in the last year, 
appealed to us to ignore the tempted and the fallen of 
our own sex no longer. It is not by the vain attempt 
to re-introduce the exploded harem method of secluding 
women that they are to be saved. It is rather by hold- 
ing men to the same standard of morality which, happily 
for us, they long ago prescribed for the physically 
weaker, that society shall rise to higher levels, and by 
punishing with extreme penalties such men as inflict 
upon women atrocities compared with which death would 
be infinitely welcome. When we remember the un- 
avenged murder of Jennie Cramer, of New Haven, and 
the acquittal of the ravishers of Emma Bond, a cultivated 
school-teacher of Illinois ; when we reflect that the Pall 


Mall Gazette declares i the law is framed to enable disso- 
lute men to outrage girls of thirteen with impunity ; ' 
that in Massachusetts and Vermont it is a greater crime 
to steal a cow than to abduct and ruin a girl ; and that 
in Illinois, seduction is not recognized as a crime, it is a 
marvel not to be explained, that we go on the even tenor 
of our way, too delicate, too refined, too prudish to make 
any allusion to these awful facts, much less to take up 
arms against these awful crimes. 

" We have been the victims of conventional cowardice 
too long. Let us signalize the second century of tem- 
perance reform by a fearless avowal of our purpose to 
take up the work of promoting social purity by the in- 
culcation of right principles, and the serious demand for 
more equitable laws." 

We have seen how universal is the social evil, 
that it is a vice almost as old as man himself, which 
shows how deeply rooted in his perverted nature it has 
become. The inquiry arises, What are the causes of so 
monstrous a vice, so gross an outrage upon nature's 
laws, so withering a blight upon the race ? 

Causes of the Social Evil. — A vice that has be- 
come so great an evil, even in these enlightened times, 
as to defy the most skillful legislation, which openly dis- 
plays its gaudy filthiness, and mocks at virtue with a 
lecherous stare, must have its origin in causes too 
powerful to be ignored. 

Precocious Sexuality.— The causes of a too early 
development of sexual peculiarities, as manifested in 
infantile flirtations and early signs of sexual passion, 
were dwelt upon quite fully in a previous connection, 
and we need not repeat them here. Certain it is that 


few things can be more dangerous to virtue than the 
premature development of those sentiments which be- 
long only to puberty and later years. It is a most 
unnatural, but not uncommon, sight to see a girl of 
tender age evincing all those characteristics which mark 
the wanton of older years. 

Man's Lewdness. — It cannot be denied that men are 
in the greatest degree responsible for the social evil. 
The general principle holds true here as elsewhere, that 
the supply is regulated by the demand. If the patrons 
of prostitution should withdraw their support by a 
sudden acquisition of virtue, how soon would this vilest 
of traffics cease ! The inmates of brothels would them- 
selves become continent, if not virtuous, as the result of 
such a spasm of chastity in men. 

Again, the ranks of fallen women, which are rapidly 
thinned by loathsome diseases and horrid deaths, are 
largely recruited from that class of unfortunates for 
whose fall faithless lovers or cunning, heartless libertines 
are chiefly responsible. The weak girl who, through 
too much trust, has been deceived and robbed of her 
dearest treasure, is disowned by relatives, shunned by 
her acquaintances, and turned out upon a cold world 
without money, without friends, without a character. 
What can she do ? Respectable employment she cannot 
find ; for rumor follows her. There seems to be but one 
door open, the one which she herself so unintentionally 
opened. In despair, she enters the " open road to hell," 
and to her first sad error adds a life of shame. Mean- 
while, the villain who betrayed her maintains his stand- 
ing in society, and plies his arts to win other victims. 
Is there not an unfair discrimination here ? Should not 


the seducer be blackened with an infamy at least as 
deep as that which society casts upon the one betrayed ? 

Fashion. — The temptation of dress, fine clothing, 
costly jewelry, and all the extravagances in which rich 
ladies array themselves, is in many cases too powerful 
for the weakened virtue of poor seamstresses, operatives, 
and servant girls, who have seen so much of vice as to 
lose that instinctive loathing for it which they may have 
once experienced. Thinking to gain a life of ease, with 
means to gratify their love of show, they barter away 
their peace of mind for this world, all hope for the next, 
and only gain a little worthless tinsel, the scorn of xheir 
fellow-creatures, and a host of loathsome diseases. 

Lack of Early Training,— It is needless to demon- 
strate a fact so well established as that the future char- 
acter of an individual depends very largely upon his 
early training. If purity and modesty are taught from 
earliest infancy, the mind is fortified against the assaults 
of vice. If, instead, the child is allowed to grow up 
untrained, if the seeds of vice which are sure to fall 
sooner or later in the most carefully kept ground, are 
allowed to germinate, if the first buds of evil are allowed 
to grow and unfold, instead of being promptly nipped, it 
must not be considered remarkable that in later years 
rank weeds of sin should flourish in the soul, and bear 
their hideous fruit in shameless lives. 

Neglect to guard the avenues by which evil may 
approach the young mind, and to erect barriers against 
vice by careful instruction and a chaste example, leaves 
many innocent souls open to the assaults of evil, and an 
easy prey to lust. If children are allowed to get their 
training in the street, at the corner grocery, or hovering 


around saloons, they will be sure to develop a vigorous 
growth of the animal passions. The following extract 
is from the writings of one whose pen has been an in- 
estimable blessing to American youth : — 

" Among the first lessons which boys learn of their 
fellows are impurities of language ; and these are soon 
followed by impurities of thought. . . . When this is 
the training of boyhood, it is not strange that the pre- 
dominating ideas among young men, in relation to the 
other sex, are too often those of impurity and sensuality. 
. . . We cannot be surprised, then, that the history of 
most young men is, that they yield to temptation in a 
greater or less degree and in different ways. With 
man}', no doubt, the indulgence is transient, accidental,, 
and does not become habitual. It does not get to be 
regarded as venial. It is never yielded to without 
remorse. The wish and the purpose are to resist ; but 
the animal nature bears doAvn the moral. Still, trans- 
gression is always followed by grief and penitence. 

" With too many, however, it is to be feared it is 
not so. The mind has become debauched by dwelling 
on licentious images, and by indulgence in licentious 
conversation. There is no wish to resist. They are 
not overtaken by temptation ; for they seek it. With 
them the transgression becomes habitual, and the stain 
on the character is deep and lasting." * 

Poverty, — The pressing influence of poverty has 
been urged as one cause of prostitution. It cannot be 
denied that in many cases, in large cities, this may be 
the immediate occasion of the entrance of a young girl 
upon a life of shame ; but it may still be insisted that 

* Ware. 


there must have been, in such cases, a deficiency in 
previous training ; for a young woman, educated with a 
proper regard for purity, would sooner sacrifice life 
itself than virtue. Again, poverty can be no excuse ; 
for in every city there are made provisions for the relief 
of the needy poor, and none who are really worthy need 

Ignorance. — Perhaps nothing fosters vice more than 
ignorance. Prostitutes come almost entirely from the 
more ignorant classes, though there are, of course, many 
exceptions. Among the lowest classes, vice is seen in 
its grossest forms, and is carried to the greatest lengths. 
Intellectual culture is antagonistic to sensuality. As a 
general rule, in proportion as the intellect is developed, 
the animal passions are brought into subjection. It is 
true that some very intellectual men have been great lib- 
ertines, and that the licentious Borgias and Medicis of 
Italy encouraged art and literature ; but these are only 
apparent exceptions ; for who knows to what greater 
depths of vice these individuals might have sunk had it 
not been for the restraining influence of mental culture. 

Says Deslandes, " In proportion as the intellect 
becomes enfeebled, the generative sensibility is aug- 
mented." The animal passions seem to survive when 
all higher intelligence is lost. We once saw an illustra- 
tion of this fact in an idiot who was brought before a 
medical class in a clinic at Bellevue Hospital, New York. 
The patient had been an idiot from birth, and presented 
the most revolting appearance, seemingly possessing 
scarcely the intelligence of the average dog; but his 
animal propensities were so great as to be almost un- 
controllable. Indeed, he showed evidences of having 


been a gross debauchee, having contracted venereal 
disease of the worst form. The general prevalence of 
extravagant sexual excitement among the insane is a 
well-known fact. 

Disease. — Various diseases which cause local irrita- 
tion and congestion of the reproductive organs are the 
causes of unchastity in both sexes, as previously ex- 
plained. It not infrequently happens that by constantly 
dwelling upon unchaste subjects until a condition of 
habitual congestion of the sexual organs is produced, 
young women become seized with a furor for libidinous 
commerce, which nothing but the desired object will 
appease, unless active remedial measures are adopted 
under the direction of a skillful physician. This disease, 
known as nymphomania, has been the occasion of the 
fall of many young women of the better classes who 
had been bred in luxury and idleness, but were never 
taught even the first lesson of purity or self-control. 
Constipation, piles, worms, pruritis of the genitals, and 
some other less common diseases of the urinary and 
genital systems, have been causes of sexual excitement 
which has resulted in moral degradation. 

Results of Licentiousness. — Apparently as a safe- 
guard to virtue, nature has appended to the sin of illicit 
sexual indulgence, as penalties, the most loathsome, 
deadly, and incurable diseases known to man. Some of 
these, as gonorrhoea and chancroid, are purely local 
diseases ; and though they occasion the transgressor a 
vast amount of suffering, they may be cured and leave 
no trace of their presence except in the conscience of the 
individual. Such a result, however, is by no means the 
usual one. Most frequently, the injury done is more or 


less permanent; sometimes it amounts to loss of life or 
serious mutilation, as in cases we have seen. And one 
attack secures no immunity from subsequent ones, as a 
new disease may be contracted upon every exposure. 

By far the worst form of venereal disease is syphilis, 
a malady which was formerly confounded with the two 
forms of disease mentioned, but from which it is essen- 
tially different. At first, a very slight local lesion, of 
no more consequence — except from its significance — 
than a small boil, it rapidly infects the general system, 
poisoning the whole body, and liable forever after to 
develop itself in any one or more of its protean forms. 
The most loathsome sight upon which a human eye can 
rest is a victim of this disease who presents it well 
developed in its later stages. In the large hospitals 
of this country and various European cities, we have 
seen scores of these unfortunates of both sexes, exhib- 
iting the horrid disease in all phases. To describe them 
would be to place before our readers a picture too 
revolting for these pages. No pen can portray the woe- 
begone faces, the hopeless air, of these degraded sufferers 
whose repentance has come, alas ! too late. No words 
can convey an adequate idea of their sufferings. What 
remorse and useless regrets add to the misery of their 
wretched existence as they daily watch the progress of a 
malignant ulceration which is destroying their organs of 
speech, or burrowing deep into the recesses of the skull, 
penetrating even to the brain itself ! Even the bones 
become rotten ; foul running sores appear on different 
portions of the body, and may even cover it entirely. 
Perhaps the nose, or the tongue, or the lips, or an eye, 
or some other prominent organ, is lost. Still the miser- 


able sufferer lingers on, life serving only to prolong the 
torture. To many of them, death would be a grateful 
release, even with the fires of retributive justice before 
their eyes ; for hell itself could scarcely be more awful 
punishment than that which they daily endure. 

Thousands of Victims, — The venturesome youth 
need not attempt to calm his fears by thinking that these 
are only exceptional cases ; for this is not the truth. In 
any city, one who has an experienced eye can scarcely 
walk a dozen blocks on busy streets without encounter- 
ing the woeful effects of sexual transgression. Neither 
do these results come only from long-continued violations 
of the laws of chastity. The very first departure from 
virtue may occasion all the worst effects possible. 

Effects of Vice Ineradicable,— Another fearful feat- 
ure of this terrible disease is that when once it invades 
the system, its eradication is impossible. No drug, no 
chemical, can antidote its virulent poison, or drive it 
from the system. Various means may smother it, pos- 
sibly for a lifetime ; but yet it is not cured, and the 
patient is never safe from a new outbreak. Prof. Bum- 
stead, an acknowledged authority on this subject, after 
observing the disease for many years, says that he " nev- 
er, after treatment, however prolonged, promises im- 
munity for the future." * Dr. Van Buren, professor of 
surgery at Bellevue Hospital Medical College, New 
* York, bears the same testimony. 

Prof. Van Buren also says that he has often seen the 
disease occur upon the lips of young ladies who were 
entirely virtuous, but who were engaged to men who 
had contracted the disease, and had communicated it to 

* "Venereal Disease." 


them in the act of kissing. Virtuous wives have not 
infrequently had their constitutions hopelessly ruined 
by contracting the disease from husbands who had 
themselves been inoculated either before or after mar- 
riage, by illicit intercourse. Several such unfortunate 
cases have fallen under our observation, and there is 
reason to believe that they are not infrequent. 

The Only Hope. — The only hope for one who has 
contracted this disease is to lead a life of perfect conti- 
nence ever after, and by a most careful life, by conform- 
ing strictly to the laws of health, by bathing and dieting, 
he may possibly avoid the horrid consequences of the 
later stages of the malady. Mercury will not cure it, 
nor will any other poison, as before remarked. 

The following strong testimony on this subject we 
quote from an admirable pamphlet by Prof. Fred. H. 
Grerrish, M. D.: — 

" The diseases dependent upon prostitution are ap- 
pallingly frequent, a distinguished surgeon recently de- 
claring that one person in twenty in the United States 
has syphilis, — a malady so ineradicable that a profound 
observer has remarked that ' a man who is once thus 
poisoned, will die a syphilitic, and in the day of Judg- 
ment he will be a syphilitic ghost.' Prof. Gross says : 
'What is called scrofula, struma, or tuberculosis, is, I 
have long been satisfied from careful observation of the 
sick and a profound study of the literature of the subject, 
in a great majority of cases, if not invariably, merely 
syphilis in its more remote stages.' Though there are 
doubtless many of us who believe that a not inconsider- 
able proportion of scrofulous and phthisical cases are 
clearly due to other causes than syphilis, we must admit 


that this statement contains a very large element of 

Hereditary Effects of Venereal Disease.— The trans- 
gressor is not the only sufferer. If he marries, his 
children, if they survive infancy, are likely, in later years, 
to show the effects of their father's sin, exhibiting the 
forms of the disease seen in its later stages. Scrofula, 
consumption, cancer, rickets, diseases of the brain and 
nerves, decay of the bones by caries or necrosis, and other 
diseases arise in this way. 

But it generally happens that the child dies before 
birth, or lingers out a miserable existence of a few days 
or weeks thereafter. A most pitiable sight these little 
ones are. Their faces look as old as children of ten or 
twelve. Often their bodies become reduced before death 
to the most wretched skeletons. Their hollow, feeble 
cry sends a shudder of horror through the listener, and 
impresses indelibly the terrible consequences of sexual 
sin. Plenty of these scrawny infants may be seen in 
the lying-in hospitals. 

No one can estimate how much of the excessive mor- 
tality of infants is owing to this cause. 

In children who survive infancy, its blighting influence 
may be seen in the notched, deformed teeth, and other 
defects ; and very often it will be found, upon looking 
into the mouth of the child, that the soft palate, and 
perhaps the hard palate as well, is in a state of ulceration. 
There is more than a suspicion that this disease may be 
transmitted for several generations, perhaps remaining 
latent during the lifetime of one, and appearing in all its 
virulence in the next. 

Origin of the Foul Disease.— Where or when the 


disease originated, is a mystery. It is said to have been 
introduced into France from Naples by French soldiers. 
That it originated spontaneously at some time can 
scarcely be doubted, and that it might originate under 
circumstances of excessive violation of the laws of 
chastity is rendered probable by the fact that gonorrhoea, 
or an infectious disease exactly resembling it, is often 
caused by excessive indulgence, from which cause it not 
infrequently occurs in the newly married, giving rise to 
unjust suspicion of infidelity on both sides. 

Read the following from a noted French physician : — 
" The father, as well as the mother, communicates 
the syphilitic virus to the children. These poor little 
beings are attacked sometimes at their birth ; more often 
it is at the end of a month or two that these morbid 
symptoms appear. 

" I recall the heart-rending anguish of a mother 
whom I assisted at her fifth confinement. She related 
to me her misfortune : 6 1 have already brought into the 
world four children. Alas ! they all died during the 
first months of their existence. A frightful eruption 
wasted them away, and killed them. Save me the one 
that is about to be born ! ' cried she, in tears. The child 
that I delivered was sickly and puny. A few days after 
its birth, it had purulent ophthalmia ; then, crusted and 
ulcerated pustules, a few at first, numerous afterward, 
covered the entire surface of the skin. Soon this miser- 
able little being became as meager as a skeleton, hideous 
to the sight, and died. Having questioned the husband, 
he acknowledged to me that he had had syphilis." * 

* Bourgeois. 


Cure of the Social Evil. — With rare exceptions, 
the efforts of civil legislation have been directed toward 
controlling or modifying this vice, rather than extirpat- 
ing it. 

Among other devices adopted with a view to effect 
this, and to mitigate in some degree the resulting evils, 
the issuing of licenses for brothels has been practiced in 
several large cities. One of the conditions of the license 
makes it obligatory upon the keepers of houses of ill- 
repute and their inmates to submit to medical examina- 
tion at stated intervals. By this means, it is expected 
to detect the cases of foul disease at the outset, and thus 
to protect others by placing the infected individuals 
under restraint and treatment. It will be seen that for 
many reasons such examinations could not be effective ; 
but, even if they were, the propriety of this plan of 
dealing with' the vice is exceedingly questionable, as 
will appear from the following considerations : — 

1. The moment that prostitution is placed under the 
protection of law by means of a license, it at once loses 
half its disrepute, and becomes respectable, as do gam- 
bling and liquor-selling under the same circumstances. 

2. Why should so vile a crime as fornication be 
taken under legal protection more than stealing or the 
lowest forms of gambling ! Is it not a lesser crime against 
human nature to rob a man of his money by theft or by 
deceit and trickery, than to snatch from him at one fell 
swoop his health, his virtue, and his peace of mind ? 
Why not as well have laws to regulate burglary and 
assassination, allowing the perpetrators of those crimes 
to ply their chosen avocations with impunity under cer- 
tain prescribed restrictions, — if robbery, for instance, re- 


quiring the thief to leave his victim money enough to 
make his escape to another country ; or, if murder, 
directing the assassin to allow his intended victim time 
to repeat a sufficient number of Ave Marias to insure his 
safe transit through purgatory or to pay a priest for 
doing the same ? Such a course would not be inconsist- 
ent with the policy which legalizes that infamous traffic 
in human souls, prostitution. 

3. By the use of certain precautionary measures, the 
fears of many will be allayed, so that thousands whose 
fear of the consequences of sin would otherwise have 
kept them physically virtuous, at least, erroneously sup- 
posing that the cause for fear has been removed, will 
rush madly into a career of vice, and will learn only too 
late the folly of their course. 

Prevention the Only Cure.— Those who have once 
entered upon a career of sensuality, are "generally so 
completely lost to all sense of purity and right that there 
is little chance for reforming them. They have no prin- 
ciple to which to appeal. The gratification of lust so 
degrades the soul and benumbs the higher sensibilities 
that a votary of voluptuousness is a most unpromising 
subject for reformatory efforts. The old adage that an 
ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is strikingly 
exemplified in this case. The remedy must be applied 
before the depths have been reached. It was well said 
by a celebrated physician to a young man beginning a 
life of vice, " You are entering upon a career from which 
you will never turn back." 

Early Training.— The remedy, to be effective, must 
be applied early, the earlier the better. Lessons on 
chastity may be given in early infancy. The remedy 


may be applied even farther back than this ; children 
must be virtuously generated. 

Children should be early taught to reverence virtue, 
to abhor lust ; and boys should be so trained that they 
will associate with the name of woman only pure, chaste, 
and noble thoughts. Few things are more deeply inju- 
rious to the character of woman, and more conducive to 
the production of foul imaginations in children, than the 
free discussion of such subjects as the latest scandal 
and like topics. The inquisitive minds and lively imag- 
inations of childhood penetrate the rotten mysteries of 
such foul subjects at a much earlier age than many per- 
sons imagine. The inquiring minds of children will be 
occupied in some way, and it is of the utmost importance 
that they should be early filled with thoughts that will 
lead them to noble and pure actions. 

The White Cross Army, — This is the name of an 
association first organized in England in 1883 by the 
Bishop of Durham, Rt. Rev. J. B. Lightfoot, D. D., 
well known through his excellent commentaries on the 
New Testament. The Y. M. C. A. of New York has 
recently undertaken to effect an organization of the 
same sort in this country. The object of the association 
is thus stated in its constitution : " The object of this 
Army shall be the promotion of purity among young 
men, the elevation of public opinion regarding the 
question of personal purity, and the maintenance of the 
same standard for men and women." 

All who join the organization are required to sign 
the following pledge : — 

" I promise by the help of God — 

" 1. To treat all women with respect, and en- 
deavor to protect them from wrong and degradation. 



" 2. To endeavor to put down all indecent language 
and coarse jests. 

" 3. To maintain the law of purity as equally binding 
upon men and women. 

"4. To endeavor to spread these principles among 
my companions, and to try to help my younger brothers. 

" 5. To use every possible means to fulfill the com- 
mand, ' Keep thyself pure.' " 

At a meeting held for the purpose of organizing this 
association in the city of New York, March, 1885, 
remarks were made by the Rev. Dr. B. F. De Costa, 
elucidating the objects of the organization as follows : — 

" If a woman sins, you know what becomes of her. Is 
there any place for her except the street ? If a man sins, 
where does he find his place ? Does he not find it in 
the highest society and the best and purest homes, 
while the miserable victim of his lust is trodden under- 
foot? What are you going to do about that, young 
men ? Are you going to tolerate a double standard ! 
If there be manhood among you, I call upon you to treat 
woman as you would be treated yourself. If a woman 
falls, she falls forever. Her own sex disown her, and 
reduce her to despair. Though she reform, and rise to 
a true and pure life, — become as pure as Mary Magda- 
lene, aye, as chaste as the icicles upon the temple of 
Diana, — her own sex refuse to receive her, and scarce 
allow her to come into their kitchens to scrub the floor. 
Now I say to you, young men, be pure on account of 
her. Whom do I mean ? Mother ? Sister ? Yes, and 
another. Sometime there will be one whom you will 
regard with the tenderest love and affection as the per- 
sonification of purity, beauty, and truth. You may not 


have found her yet, but you will find her. What do 
you desire her to think of you ? If she loves you truly, 
you know she will consider you the epitome of goodness, 
honor, and truth. Will you not so live that when the 
time comes, you may go to her with a clean and pure 
heart, so that she may know that you are all her fancy 
paints you ? God forbid that you should go to her and 
tell her a lie under whose cloud you must live for a 

Branch associations of this organization should be 
formed in every town and city and village in the United 
States. Those who wish further information concerning 
it, should address the Young Men's Christian Association, 
23d St. & Fourth Ave., N. Y City. 

Teach Self-Control. — One important part of early 
training is the cultivation of self-control, and a habit of 
self-denial, whenever right demands it. Another most 
essential part of a child's moral training is the cultivation 
of right motives. To present a child no higher motives 
for doing right than the hope of securing some pleasant 
reward, or the fear of suffering some terrible punishment, 
is the surest way to make of him a supremely selfish 
man, with no higher aim than to secure good to himself, 
no matter what may become of other people. And if he 
can convince himself that the pleasure he will secure by 
the commission of a certain act will more than counter- 
balance the probable risk of suffering, he will not hesi- 
tate to commit it, leaving wholly out of consideration 
the question, Is it right, or noble, or pure ? A love 
of right for its own sake is the only solid basis upon 
which to build a moral character. Children should not 
be taught to do right in order to avoid a whipping, or 


imprisonment in a dark closet, — a horrid kind of punish- 
ment sometimes resorted to, — or even to escape " the 
lake of fire and brimstone." Neither should they be 
constantly coaxed to right doing by promised rewards, — 
a new toy, a book, an excursion, or even the pleasures of 
a future life. All these incentives are selfish, and inva- 
riably narrow the character and belittle life when made 
the chief motives of action. But rather begin at the 
earliest possible moment to instill into the mind a love 
for right, and truth, and purity, and virtue, and an ab- 
horrence for their contraries ; then will he have a worthy 
principle by which to square his life ; then will he be 
safe from the assaults of passion, of vice, of lust. A 
mind so trained stands upon an eminence from which all 
evil men and devils combined cannot displace it, so long 
as it adheres to its noble principles. 

Mental Culture. — The cultivation of the physical 
organization must not be neglected. Healthful mental 
discipline should receive equal attention. By healthful 
mental discipline is not meant that kind of superficial 
" cramming " and memorizing which constitute the train- 
ing of the average school, but sound culture ; a directing 
of the mind from facts to underlying principles ; a de- 
velopment of the reasoning powers so as to bring the 
emotions and passions into subjection ; the acquirement 
of the power to concentrate the mind, one of the best 
methods of cultivating self-control, — these are some of 
the objects and results of sound culture of the mind. 

To supply the mind with food for pure thoughts, the 
child should be early inspired with a love for nature. The 
perceptives should be trained, the child taught to observe 
closely and accurately. The study of the natural sci- 


ences is a most valuable means of elevating the mind 
above grossness and sensuality. To be successful in this 
direction, parents must cultivate a love for the same 
objects themselves. Take the little ones into the coun- 
try, if they are not so fortunate as to live there, and in 
the midst of nature's glories, point their impressible 
minds upward to the Author of all the surrounding love- 
liness. Gather flowers and leaves, and call attention to 
the peculiarities and special beauties of each, and thus 
arouse curiosity and cultivate habits of close observation 
and attention. 

Early Associations, — As children grow older, watch 
their associations. Warn them of evil influences and 
evil practices. Make home so attractive that they will 
enjoy it better than any other place. Cultivate music; 
its mellowing, harmonizing, refining influence is too 
great to be prudently withheld. Children naturally love 
music ; and if they cannot hear it at home, they will go 
where they can hear it. Supply attractive books of 
natural history, travels, interesting and instructive biog- 
raphies, and almost any other books but love-sick novels, 
and sentimental religious story-books. Guard against 
bad books and bad associates as carefully as though they 
were deadly serpents ; for they are, indeed, the artful 
emissaries of the " old serpent " himself. A taste once 
formed for reading light literature destroys the relish 
for solid reading ; and usually the taste, once lost, is 
never regained. The fascination of bad companionship 
once formed around a person, is broken with the greatest 
difficulty. Hence the necessity of watching for the 
very beginnings of evil, and promptly checking them. 
The mind should be thus fortified against the trifles 


and follies of fashionable life. It should be elevated 
into a sphere far above that occupied by those who pass 
their time in fashionable drawing-rooms in silly twaddle, 
with thrumming a piano, with listless day-dreaming, or 
in the gratification of perverted tastes and depraved 
instincts in any other of the ways common to fashion- 
able life. 



If illicit commerce of the sexes is a heinous sin, self- 
pollution, or masturbation, is a crime doubly abominable. 
As a sin against nature, it has no parallel except in 
sodomy (see Gen. 19:5; Judges 19:22). It is the 
most dangerous of all sexual abuses because the most 
extensively practiced. The vice consists in an excite- 
ment of the genital organs produced otherwise than in 
the natural way. It is known by the terms, self- 
pollution, self-abuse, masturbation, onanism, manustupra- 
tion, voluntary pollution, and solitary or secret vice. 
The vice is the more extensive because there are almost 
no bounds to its indulgence. Its frequent repetition fastens 
it upon the victim with a fascination almost irresistible, 
It may be begun in earliest infancy, and may continue 
through life. 

Even though no warning may have been given, the 
transgressor seems to know, instinctively, that he iu 
committing a great wrong, for he carefully hides his 
practice from observation. In solitude he pollutes him- 
self, and with his own hand blights all his prospects for 
both this world and the next. Even after being solemnly 
warned, he will often continue this worse than beastly 
practice, deliberately forfeiting his right to health and 
happiness for a moment's mad sensuality. 

Alarming Prevalence of the Vice. — The habit is by 
no means confined to boys ; girls also indulge in it, 
though, it is to be hoped, to a less fearful extent than 
boys, at least in this country. A Russian physician, 
quoted by an eminent medical professor in New York, 


states that the habit is universal among girls in Russia. 
It seems impossible that such a statement should be 
credible; and yet we have not seen it contradicted. It 
is more than probable that the practice is far more 
nearly universal everywhere than even medical men are 
willing to admit.. Many young men who have been ad- 
dicted to the vice, have, in their confessions, declared 
that they found it universal in the schools in which they 
learned the practice. 

Dr. Gardner speaks of it as " the secret cause of 
much that is perverting the energies and demoralizing 
the minds of many of our fairest and best." He further 
says : — 

" Much of the worthlessness, lassitude, and physical 
and mental feebleness attributable to the modern woman, 
are to be ascribed to these habits as their initial cause." 
" Foreigners are especially struck with this fact as the 
cause of much of the physical disease of our young 
women. They recognize it in the physique, in the 
sodden, colorless countenance, the lack-luster eye, in the 
dreamy indolence, the general carriage, the constant de- 
meanor indicative of distrust, mingled boldness and 
timidity, and a series of anomalous combinations which 
mark this genus of physical and moral decay.' 

The extent to which the vice is practiced by an indi- 
vidual is in some cases appalling. Three or four repeti- 
tions of the act daily are not uncommon ; and the 
following from Dr. Copland is evidence of much deeper 
depravity : — 

" There can be no doubt that the individual who has 
once devoted himself to this moloch of the species be- 
comes but too frequently its slave to an almost incredible 


degree. A .patient who was sent to London for my 
advice, confessed that he had practiced this vice seven or 
eight times daily from the age of thirteen until twenty- 
four ; and he was then reduced to the lowest state of 
mental weakness, associated with various bodily infirm- 
ities ; indeed, both mental power and physical existence 
were nearly extinguished." 

In a case which came under the author's care some 
time ago, that of a young woman, the vice had been 
practiced ten to fourteen times daily for weeks at a time. 
The patient had become a bed-ridden invalid, and was 
reduced to the most wretched condition physically and 
mentally ; and it was only by the most earnest and per- 
sistent effort that she was rescued from the miserable 
state into which she had fallen. 

Testimony of Eminent Authors.— Says a medical 
writer, " In my opinion, neither the plague, nor war, nor 
small-pox, nor similar diseases, have produced results so 
disastrous to humanity as the pernicious habit of Onanism; 
it is the destroying element of civilized societies, which is 
constantly in action, and gradually undermines the 
health of a nation." 

" The sin of self-pollution, which is generally consid- 
ered to be that of Onan, is one of the most destructive 
evils ever practiced by fallen man. In many respects it 
is several degrees worse than common whoredom, and 
has in its train more awful consequences, though prac- 
ticed by numbers who would shudder at the thought of 
criminal connection with a prostitute." * 

" However revolting to the feelings it may be to 
enter upon such a subject, it cannot be passed over in 

* Dr. Adam Clarke. . 


silence without a great violation of duty. Unhappily, it 
has not been hitherto exhibited in the awful light in 
which it deserves to be shown. The worst of it is that it 
is seldom suspected. There are many pale faces and lan- 
guid, nervous feelings attributed to other causes, when 
all the mischief lies here."* 

We scarcely need add further evidence of the fearful 
extent of this evil, but will conclude with the following: — 

" The pernicious and debasing practice of masturba- 
tion is a more common and extensive evil with youth of 
both sexes than is usually supposed." " A great number 
of the evils which come upon the youth at and after the 
age of puberty, arise from masturbation, persisted in, so 
as to waste the vital energies and enervate the physical 
and mental powers of man." " Many of the weaknesses 
commonly attributed to growth and the changes in the 
habit by the important transformation from adolescence 
to manhood, are justly referable to this practice." f 

Not a Modern Vice. — That this vice is not entirely 
a modern one is proved by the fact that in many ancient 
writings directions are given for treating its effects. 
Even Moses seems to have recognized disorders of this 
class. Hippocrates and others devoted considerable 
attention to them. 

Victims of All Ages. — The ages at which the habit 
may be practiced include almost the whole extent of 
human life. We have seen it in infants of only three or 
four years, and in old men scarcely less than sixty, in 
both extremes marked by the most unmistakable and 
lamentable consequences. Cases have been noted in 
which the practice was begun as early as two years of 

* Sir W. C. Ellis. f Boston Medical and Surgical Journal. 


age. It is common among African boys at nine and ten 
years of age, according to Dr. Copland. 

The author has met cases in which the vice was still 
practiced at so advanced an age as sixty years. The 
horrible state of depravity of both mind and body 
reached by the individual after such a lifetime of vice, 
can be more readily imagined than described. 

Unsuspected Rottenness, — Parents who have no 
suspicion of the evil, who think their children the em- 
bodiment of purity, will find by careful observation and 
inquiry, — though personal testimony cannot be relied 
upon, — that in many instances their supposed virtuous 
children are old in corruption. Such a revelation has 
brought dismay into many a family, in some cases only 
too late. 

Not long since a case came under our care which well 
illustrates the apathy and blindness of parents with re- 
spect to this subject. The parents of a young man 
whose mind seemed to be somewhat disordered, sent 
word to us through a friend respecting his condition, 
asking advice. We suspected from the symptoms de- 
scribed the real cause of the disease, and urged prompt 
attention to the case. In a short time the young man 
was placed under our immediate care without encourage- 
ment of a cure, and we gave the case still closer study. 
The characteristic symptoms of disease from self-abuse 
were marked, but the father was positive that no influence 
of that kind could have been at work. He had watched 
his son narrowly from infancy, and did not believe it 
possible for him to have been guilty. In addition, the 
young man had long been remarkable for his piety, and 
he did not believe there could be any possibility of his 
being guilty of so gross a crime. 


A short time sufficed, however, to secure the indis- 
putable evidence of the fact by his being caught in the 
act by his nurse. 

This young man was a sad example of what havoc is 
made with the " human form divine " by this debasing 
vice. Once a bright boy, kind, affectionate, active, in- 
telligent, the pride of a loving mother and the hope of a 
doting father, his mind had sunken to driveling idiocy. 
His vacant stare and expressionless countenance betok- 
ened almost complete imbecility. If allowed to do so, 
he would remain for hours in whatever position his last 
movement left him. If his hand was raised, it remained 
extended until placed in a position of rest by his attend- 
ant. Only with the utmost difficulty could he be made 
to rise in the morning, to eat, drink, or walk. Only by 
great efforts could he be aroused from his lethargy suffi- 
ciently to answer the most simple question. The in- 
stinctive demands of decency in regarding the calls of 
nature were not respected. In short, the distinguishing 
characteristics of a human being were almost wholly 
obliterated, leaving but a physical semblance of human- 
ity, — a mind completely wrecked, a body undergoing 
dissolution while yet alive, a blasted life, no hope for 
this world, no prospect for the next. In the insane asy- 
lums of the country may ba seen hundreds of these poor 
victims in all stages of physical and mental demoraliza- 

Causes of the Habit. — It is needless to recapitulate 
all the causes of unchastity which have previously been 
quite fully dwelt upon, nearly all of which are predis- 
posing or exciting causes of solitary as well as social 
vice. Sexual precocity, idleness, pernicious literature, 


abnormal sexual passions, exciting and irritating food, 
gluttony, sedentary employment, libidinous pictures, 
and many abnormal conditions of life are potent causes 
in exciting the vile practice ; but by far the most fre- 
quent causes are evil associations, wicked or ignorant 
nurses, and local disease, or abnormality. These latter 
we will consider more particularly, as they have not 
been so fully dwelt upon elsewhere. 

Evil Associations. — A child may nave been reared 
with the greatest care. From infancy he may have been 
carefully shielded from all pernicious influences, so that 
at the age of ten or twelve, when he is for the first time 
sent to school, he may be free from vice ; but when he 
associates with his fellow-students, he soon finds them 
practicing a habit new to him, and being unwarned, he 
speedily follows their filthy example, and quickly be- 
comes fascinated with the vice. Thousands have taken 
their first lessons in this debasing habit at school. 
Teachers and scholars testify that it is often prac- 
ticed even in school hours, almost under the teacher's 
eyes ; but where the infection most quickly spreads is 
in the sleeping apartments, where more than one occupy 
the same bed, or where several sleep in the same room. 

Nothing is more indispensable to purity of body and 
of morals than a private sleeping room, and a single bed 
for each student. Such an arrangement would protect 
the youth from the reception of much evil, and would 
allow an opportunity for privacy which every young 
man or youth needs for his spiritual as well as physical 
benefit. Not the least benefit of the latter class is the 
opportunity for a thorough cleansing of the whole body 
every morning, which is almost as indispensable to purity 


of morals as to cleanliness of body. The same sugges- 
tion is fully as applicable to the sleeping arrangements 
of girls. The exceptional cases in which this plan would 
not be the best are very few indeed. 

Corruption in Schools.— Says Dr. Acton, " I cannot 
venture to print the accounts patients have given me of 
what they have seen or even been drawn into at schools. 
I would fain hope that such abominations are things of 
the past." The entrance of a single corrupt boy into a 
school which may have been previously pure, — though 
such schools must be extremely rare, — will speedily cor- 
rupt almost the entire membership. The evil infection 
spreads more rapidly than the contagion of small-oox or 
yellow fever, and it is scarcely less fatal. 

This danger exists, not in public or city schools alone, 
but in the most select and private schools. A father 
who had kept his two sons under the care of a private 
governess for several years, and then placed them in a 
small school taught by a lady, and composed of a few 
small children from the most select families, was greatly 
astonished when informed by a physician that his sons 
showed symptoms of the effects of self-abuse. He was 
totally incredulous ; but an investigation showed that 
they had already practiced the vile habit for several 
years, having learned it of an infantile school-mate. 

We were acquainted with one instance in which a 
primary school in a secluded and select community was 
nearly broken up by the introduction of this vile habit 
through a corrupt student. Many a watchful teacher 
has seen the light of growing intelligence suddenly dim 
and wane in the eye of his favorite student just when he 
was giving the most promise of developing unusual tal- 


ents in literature, mathematics, or some one of the nat- 
ural or physical sciences, and has been compelled to 
watch the devastating influence of this deadly upas-tree 
that often claims the best and fairest human flowers as 
its victims. 

"Wicked Nurses. — In those cases in which the habit 
is acquired at a very early age, the work of evil is usu- 
ally wrought by the nurse, perhaps through ignorance of 
the effects of the habit. Incredible as it seems, it is 
proved by numerous instances that it is not an uncommon 
Lraoit for nurses to quiet small children by handling or 
titillating their genital organs. They find this a speedy 
means of quieting them, and resort to it regardless or 
ignorant of the consequences. 

Not an Uncommon Case.— Prof. Lusk, of Bellevue 
Hospital College, New York, related to his medical class 
in our hearing a case which came under his observation 
in which all the children in a large family had been 
taught the habit by a wicked nurse for the purpose of 
keeping them quiet after they were put to bed. The 
vileness that would lead a person to thus rob childhood 
of its innocence, and blast its prospects for this life and 
the next, is base enough for the commission of almost 
any crime. Indeed, the crime could hardly have been 
a worse one had the nurse referred to in the above case 
in cold blood cut the throats of those innocent children ; 
perhaps it might have been better for the children. 

A gentleman once declared that if he should detect 
a person teaching this crime to his child, he would shoot 
him on the spot ; and if homicide is allowable under any 
circumstances, it seems to us it would be extenuated by 
such an aggravation. If occasional bad associations will 


work an immense damage to the youthful character, 
what terrible injury may be wrought by an agent of sin, 
an instructor in vice, who is within the household, who 
presides in the nursery, and exerts a constant influence ! 
No one can estimate it. 

Acton remarks on this point : " I need hardly point 
out how very dangerous this is. There seems hardly 
any limit to the age at which a young child can be initi- 
ated into these abominations, or to the depth of degra- 
dation to which it may fall under such hideous teaching. 
Books treating of this subject are unfortunately too full 
of accounts of the habits of such children." 

In not a few instances the " hired man " has been 
the means of communicating to innocent little boys the 
infamous knowledge which, fortunately, they had not 
acquired in babyhood. With no knowledge of the evil 
they are committing, they begin the work of physical 
damnation which makes a hell of life, and leads to end- 
less death. 

The " hired girl " is often an equally efficient agent 
tor evil in the instruction of little girls in this debasing 
vice. Some time ago, the very intelligent parents of a 
bright family of children were awakened to the impor- 
tance of this subject by the perusal of the first edition 
of this work, and upon investigation w r ere horrified to 
find that their oldest child, a promising daughter of ten, 
was already a victim to the vile practice, having been 
initiated by a " hired girl." After using in vain every 
means he could bring to bear upon the case, the father 
brought her to us, and with tears in his eyes gave his 
story. After telling of his unsuccessful attempts to 
effect a reform, he declared that he would far prefer 


to place his daughter in the grave than to see her 
grow up a wretched victim of this vice. We were 
most happy to be able, after a few weeks' treatment, 
to restore her to her parents, as we hope, permanently 
reformed. Not a few such cases are constantly coming 
to^the attention of the medical profession. 

The Instructor in Vice.— Are these lines perused 
by any one who has ever taught another this vice so 
vile, and so certainly followed by penalties so terrible, — 
penalties not upon the instigator but upon the hapless 
victim ? Let such a person clothe himself in sackcloth 
and ashes, and do penance for the remainder of his life. 
The only way in which he can hope to atone, even in 
some small degree, for such a heinous crime, is by doing 
all in his power to warn those in danger against this sin. 
When all men receive their just deserts, what will be the 
punishment of such a one who has not, by thorough re- 
pentance and a life spent in trying to undo the work of 
ruin so foully wrought, in some measure disburdened 
himself of the consequences of his act ! 

Sending children very early to bed before they are 
weary, " to get them out of the way," or for punishment, 
is a grave error, as this may give rise to the vice. Con- 
fining children alone in a room by themselves is an 
equally reprehensible practice, as it favors the commission 
of the act, at least, and may afford a favorable opportu- 
nity for its discovery. Allowing children to form a habit 
of seeking solitude is an evil of the same nature. 

Local Disease, — In the male, a tight or long foreskin 
is a frequent cause of the habit. The constant contact 
of the prepuce with the most sensitive part of the organ 
increases its sensibility. The secretion is retained, and 



accumulates, often becoming hardened. In this manner, 
irritation is set up, which occasions uncomfortable feel- 
ings, and attracts the hands to the part. Owing to the 
great degree of excitement due to irritation, but a slight 
provocation is necessary to arouse voluptuous sensations, 
and then the terrible secret is revealed. The child 
readily discovers how to reproduce the same, and is not 
slow to commit a frequent repetition of the act; and 
thus the habit is formed. 

An Illustrative Case. — A case in which the vice 
originated in this manner was recently under the author's 
observation. The patient was a man of considerable in- 
tellectual power and culture, but showed unmistakable 
signs of his early indiscretion. He stated that although 
he mingled quite freely with other boys of his age, he 
obtained no knowledge of the habit from others. He of- 
ten heard allusions which he did not understand, and of 
which he did not, fortunately, discover the meaning. 
But he was afflicted with congenital phimosis, the prepuce 
being so tight that retraction was impossible. This, to- 
gether with a bladder irritation, — which occasioned noc- 
turnal incontinence of urine, — constipation, and highly 
seasoned food, produced so much local irritation as to 
occasion frequent erections, and an increased secretion. 
He soon noticed that there was an accumulation of 
hardened secretion beneath the foreskin, and in at- 
tempting to remove this, he accidentally provoked 
voluptuous sensations. He speedily abandoned himself 
to the habit, often repeating it several times a day. Be- 
ginning at the age of twelve years, he continued it for 
three or four years. 

Soon after acquiring the habit, he became aware of 


its tendencies, through reading books upon the subject ; 
but he found himself so completely enslaved that refor- 
mation seemed impossible. One resolution to reform 
after another was formed, only to be speedily broken. 
His unwholesome diet, habitual constipation, and es- 
pecially the unfortunate organic difficulty in his genital 
organs, produced an almost constant priapism, which 
w T as only relieved, and then but temporarily, by the act 
of pollution. His sedentary habits increased the diffi- 
culty to an extreme degree. 

In the meantime, his constitution, naturally weak, 
was being gradually undermined. He suffered from 
constant headache, heart-burn, pains in the back and 
limbs, weakness, and lassitude. Yet he attributed none 
of these ailments to the true cause. After the lapse of 
three or four years thus spent, and after repeated inef- 
fectual attempts, by a powerful effort of the will, by the 
aid of prayer, and by adopting a more wholesome diet, 
he succeeded in getting the mastery of his vice. But 
the local difficulties still continued in a great degree, and 
under particularly aggravated circumstances occasioned 
a relapse at long intervals. After a time the local 
difficulties grew less and less, and enabled him to gain 
a complete victory over the habit, though the result of 
previous sin still remained, for which he desired treat- 

This case will serve as a fair illustration of many of 
similar character, in which the child accidentally makes 
the discovery which leads him to w r ork his own ruin. 

Other Physical Causes, — Constipation, piles, irrita- 
ble bladder, fissure of the anus, local uncleanliness, and 
pruritis of the genital organs, will produce the habit in 


both males and females in the manner described. Sleep- 
ing on feather-beds increases the local congestion, and 
thus favors the exciting influences of all the above- 
named causes. It may, perhaps, itself be the exciting 

We once treated a patient who was affected with 
stone in the bladder, and who asserted that the constant 
irritation which he suffered in the end of the penis was 
only relieved by friction. This might readily be the 
cause of masturbation, though in this case the vice had 
been acquired many years before, and was still con- 
tinued in spite of all efforts to reform. 

Lying upon the back or upon the abdomen frequently 
leads to self-abuse, by provoking sexual excitement. Cer- 
tain kinds of exercise, climbing in particular, have been 
attended by the same results. It is said that children 
sometimes experience genital excitement amounting to 
pleasure as the result of whipping. 

The author has met only two cases of this sort. In 
one, a boy acquired the habit of masturbation through 
experiencing voluptuous sensations while climbing, the 
ultimate effect of which was an obstinate case of epilepsy. 
Another lad experienced a high degree of sexual excite- 
ment when spanked by his teacher ; and in still another 
case, the excitement resulted from horseback-riding. 

Influence of Stimulants.— The use of stimulants of 
any kind is a fruitful cause of the vice. Tea and coffee 
have led thousands to perdition in this way. The in- 
fluence of tobacco is so strongly shown in this direction 
that it is doubtful if there can be found a boy who has 
attained the age of puberty, and has acquired the habit 
of using tobacco, who is not also addicted to this vile 


practice. Candies, spices, cinnamon, cloves, peppermint, 
and all strong essences powerfully excite the genital 
organs, and lead to the same result. 

It should be further added that there is evidence 
that a powerful predisposition to this vice is transmitted 
to the children of those who have themselves been 
guilty of it. 

Scythians, — "In the Caucasus there are individuals 
who lose the attributes of virility before old age ; then- 
beard falls off; their genital organs atrophy; their am- 
orous desires disappear ; their voice becomes feeble ; their 
body loses its force and energy ; and at last they come 
to a condition where they assume a feminine costume, 
and assimilate to women in many of their occupations. 
The disease has been described by both Herodotus and 
Hippocrates. According to Herodotus, the disease was 
a punishment upon the Scythians for pillaging the temple 
at Ascalon. Hippocrates says that these impotent 
Scythians were called Anandrii, and he says that the 
disease was excited by excessive riding on horseback. 
According to Allemand, the disease is caused by sem- 
inal emissions produced by horseback-riding. Moreau, 
just cited, refers to Esquirol, Morel, Moreau (de Tours), 
Luys, Azam, etc. Dr. Hammond, in a recent paper on 
this subject, delivered before the American Neurological 
Association, states that in New Mexico, among the 
Pueblo Indians, who are the descendants of the Aztecs, 
there exist what are called c Mujerados,' which means, 
literally, ' womaned,' or feminine. These Mujerados 
have protuberant abdomens, well-developed mammary 
glands, rounded and soft limbs, shrunken genital organs, 
liigh, thin, cracked voices, and pubes devoid of hair. 


Dr. Hammond describes two cases to whom this de- 
scription is applied, although one did not have any 
unusual development of the mammary glands. One 
had been a Mujerado for seven and the other for ten 
years ; both dressed like women, and one appeared like 
a woman, both dressed and undressed. A Mujerado is 
found, he asserts, in every Pueblo tribe, and is an im- 
portant person in the religious ceremonies, which are 
conducted very secretly in the spring. In order to 
make a Mujerado, a very strong man is selected ; mas- 
turbation is performed upon him many times a day ; he 
has. to ride almost continuously on horseback, without 
saddle. By this process the genital organs become 
much excited, and seminal losses are produced ; the 
nutrition of the organs is interfered with ; they grow 
smaller and weaker, and, in time, desire and power 
cease ; then follow the changes in character, the desire 
to dress like a woman, and to engage in feminine occu- 
pations, just as with the Scythians; courage and man- 
hood are lost ; wives and children, with those who have 
them, pass from their control. The Mujerado is held 
in honor, although men do not associate with him — only 
women. The only difference between these Mujerados 
and the Anandrii of the Scythians is, that in the case 
of the Scythians the condition is brought on accident- 
ally, as a result of excessive horseback-riding, while in 
the case of the Indians it is brought on intentionally 
for religious purposes, the philosophy in both cases 
being the same — excessive equitation following mastur- 
bation, masturbation bringing on an unnaturally excita- 
ble condition of the parts, and preparing them for 
involuntary emissions after excessive horseback-riding." * 

* Beard. 


Sexual Perversion. — The same author quoted above, 
remarks as follows upon this point : — 

" I was at one time consulted by a man whose con- 
stant desire was to attain sexual gratification, not in 
the normal way or by masturbation, but by performing 
the masturbating act on some other person ; and, in his 
case, it had become a mania practically, so that he was 
a great sufferer, and very earnestly sought relief. The 
patient had a number of symptoms of nervous trouble, 
of which this, on which he specially sought advice, was 
one. I saw the patient but once, and do not know the 
result of the plan of treatment proposed. In this case 
there was a combination of mental and physical infirmi- 
tives. I am pursuaded that a nervous constitution and 
excessive nervous susceptibility going on to debility, 
tend to induce the habit of 6 mental masturbation,' as 
well as both natural and unnatural excess in sexual 
indulgence. The strong, the phlegmatic, the healthy, 
the well-balanced temperaments — those who live out- 
doors and work with the muscles more than with the 
mind — are not tormented with sexual desire to the same 
degree or in the same way as the hysterical, the sensi- 
tive, the nervous — those who live indoors and use mind 
much and muscle very little. Dr. Boteler, who has 
had much experience as a physician among the North 
American Indians, tells me that Indian boys do not 
masturbate, and do not, as a rule, in most of the 
tribes, commit excesses in sexual indulgence prior to 
marriage ; and it is quite safe to assume, reasoning de- 
ductively and inductively from a general knowledge of 
the nervous, from observation among savages and 
semi-savages, among the negroes, and among the strong, 


healthy farming population in all civilized countries, that 
those who live outdoors and have well-balanced consti- 
tutions of the old-fashioned sort, are not annoyed by 
sexual desire when they have no opportunities for grati- 
fication, nor to the same degree as the delicate, finely 
organized lads of our cities and of the higher civiliza- 

Signs of Self- Abuse, — The net which this vice weaves 
around its victim is so strong, and its meshes are so 
elaborately interwoven with all his thoughts, his habits, 
and his very being, when it has been long indulged, that 
it is important to be able to detect it when first acquired, 
as it may then be much more easily overcome than at 
any subsequent period. It is often no easy matter to 
do this, as the victim will resort to all manner of cunning 
devices to hide his vice, and will not scruple to falsify 
concerning it, when questioned. To be able to accom- 
plish this successfully, requires a careful study, first, of 
the signs by which those who indulge in the practice 
may be known, and, secondly, of the habits of the indi- 

In considering the subject, it will be found that there 
are two classes of signs, as follows : — 

1. Those which may arouse suspicion; but any one 
of which, taken singly, would not be an evidence of the 

2. Those which may be regarded as positive. Several 
suspicious signs together may constitute a positive sign. 
Under these two heads, we will consider the signs of 
this vile habit. 

It is well to bear in mind the fact that one or two 
suspicious signs are not evidence of the disease. It is 


likewise well to remember that the habit may be found 
where least looked for, and where one would have a right 
to expect perfect purity. Prejudice must be allowed no 
voice upon either side. A writer has said that every 
young person under puberty ought to be suspected of 
the disease. We can hardly indorse this remark in full, 
but it would be at least wise for every guardian of chil- 
dren to criticise most carefully their habits, and to 
quickly detect the first indications of sinful practices. 
Parents must not think that their children, at least, are 
too good to engage in such sinful abuses. It is most 
probable that their children are very like those of their 
neighbors ; and any amount of natural goodness is not a 
protection against this insidious vice when it presents 
itself as a harmless pleasure to the unwarned and igno- 
rant child. 

Suspicious Signs.— The following symptoms, occur- 
ring in the mental and physical character and habits of a 
child or young person, may well give rise to grave sus- 
picions of evil, and should cause parents or guardians to 
be on the alert to root it out if possible : — 

1. General debility r , coming upon a previously healthy 
child, marked by emaciation, weakness, an unnatural 
paleness, colorless lips and gums, and the general symp- 
toms of exhaustion, when it cannot be traced to any 
other legitimate cause, as internal disease, worms, grief, 
overwork, poor air, or poor food, and when it is not 
speedily removed by change of air or appropriate reme- 
dial measures, may be safely attributed to solitary vice, 
no matter how far above natural suspicion the individual 
may be. Mistakes will be rare indeed when such a 
judgment is pronounced under the circumstances named. 


2, Early symptoms of consumption, cr what are sup- 
posed to be such, as cough, arid decrease in flesh, with 
short breathing and soreness of the lungs or muscles of 
the chest, are often solely the result of this vice. That 
such is the case may be considered pretty surely deter- 
mined if physical examination of the lungs reveals no 
organic disease of those organs. But it should be 
remembered that, solitary vice is one of the most fre- 
quent causes of early consumption. Several cases which 
strikingly prove this, have fallen under our own obser- 

3. Premature and defective development is a symptom 
closely allied to the two preceding. When it cannot be 
traced to such natural causes as overstudy, overwork, 
lack of exercise, and other influences of a similar nature, 
it should be charged to self-abuse. The early exercise 
of the genital organs hastens the attainment of puberty 
in many cases, especially when the habit is acquired 
early ; but at the same time it saps the vital energies so 
that the system is unable to manifest that increased 
energy in growth and development which usually occurs 
at this period. In consequence, the body remains small, 
or does not attain that development which it otherwise 
would. The mind is dwarfed as well as the body. 
Sometimes the mind suffers more than the body in lack 
of development, and sometimes the reverse is true. 
This defective development is shown in the physical 
organization of males, in the failure of the voice to in- 
crease in volume and depth of tone as it should, in defi- 
cient growth of the beard, and in failure of the chest to 
become full and the shoulders broad. The mind and 
character show the dwarfing influence by failure to 


develop those qualities which especially distinguish a 
noble manhood. In the female, defective development 
is shown by menstrual derangements, by defective 
growth either in stature, or as shown in unnatural 
slimness, and in a failure to develop the graces and 
pleasing character which should distinguish early wo- 
manhood. Such signs deserve careful investigation ; 
for they can only result from some powerfully blighting 

4. Sudden change in disposition is a sign which may 
well arouse suspicion. If a boy who has previously 
been cheerful, pleasant, dutiful, and gentle, suddenly 
becomes morose, cross, peevish, irritable, and disobedi- 
ent, be sure that some foul influence is at work with 
him. When a girl, naturally joyous, happy, confiding, 
and amiable, becomes unaccountably gloomy, sad, fretful, 
dissatisfied, and unconfiding, be certain that a blight of 
no insignificant character is resting upon her. Make a 
careful study of the habits of such children ; and if there 
is no sudden illness to account for the change in their 
character, it need not require long deliberation to arrive 
at the true cause ; for it will rarely be found to be any- 
thing other than solitary indulgence. 

5. Lassitude is as unnatural for a child as for a young 
kitten. A healthy child will be active, playful, full of 
life and animal spirits. If a young child manifests in- 
disposition to activity, a dislike for play, lifelessness and 
languor, suspect his habits, if there is no other reason- 
able cause to which to attribute his unnatural want of 
childish sprightliness. 

6. In connection with the preceding symptom will 
generally be found, instead of that natural brilliancy of 


expression in the eyes and countenance, an unnatural 
dullness and vacantness altogether foreign to childhood. 
This is a just ground for suspicion. 

7. Sleeplessness is another symptom of significance. 
Sound sleep is natural for childhood ; and if sleeplessness 
be not occasioned by dietetic errors, as eating indigest- 
ible food, eating between meals, or eating late suppers, 
it may justly be a cause for suspicion of evil habits. 

8. Failure of mental capacity without apparent cause, 
should occasion suspicion of evil practices. When a 
child who has previously learned readily, mastered his 
lessons easily, and possessed a retentive memory, shows 
a manifest decline in these directions, fails to get his les- 
sons, becomes stupid, forgetful, and inattentive, he has 
probably become the victim of a terrible vice, and is on 
the road to speedy mental as well as physical ruin. 
Watch him. 

9. Fickleness is another evidence of the working of 
some deteriorating influence ; for only a weak mind is 

10. Untrustworthiness appearing in a child should at- 
tract attention to his habits. If he has suddenly become 
heedless, listless, and forgetful, so that he cannot be de- 
pended upon, though previously not so, lay the blame 
upon solitary indulgence. This vice has a wonderful in- 
fluence in developing untruthfulness. A child previously 
honest, will soon become an inveterate liar under its 
baneful influence. 

11. Love of solitude is a very suspicious sign. Chil- 
dren are naturally sociable, almost without exception. 
They have a natural dread of being alone. When a 
child habitually seeks seclusion without a sufficient cause, 


there are good grounds for suspecting him of sinful hab- 
its. The barn, the garret, the water-closet, and some- 
times secluded places in the woods are favorite resorts 
of masturbators. They should be carefully followed and 
watched, unobserved. 

12. Bashf idness is not infrequently dependent upon 
this cause. It would be far from right to say that every 
person who is excessively modest or timid is a mastur- 
bator ; but there is a certain timorousness which seems 
to arise from a sense of shame or fear of discovery that 
many victims of this vice exhibit, and which may be 
distinguished from natural modesty by a little experience. 
One very common mode of manifestation of this timidity 
is the inability to look a superior, or any person who is 
esteemed pure, in the eye. If spoken to, instead of look- 
ing directly at the person to whom he addresses an an- 
swer, the masturbator looks to one side, or lets his eyes 
fall upon the ground, seemingly conscious that the eye 
is a wonderful tell-tale of the secrets of the mind. 

13. Unnatural boldness, in marked contrast with the 
preceding sign, is manifested by a certain class of vic- 
tims. It can be as easily distinguished, however, as un- 
natural timidity. The individual seems to have not the 
slightest appreciation of propriety. He commits openly 
the most uncouth acts, if he does not manifest the most 
indecent unchastity of manner. When spoken to, he 
stares rudely at the person addressing him, often with a 
very unpleasant lear upon his countenance. In some 
few cases there seems to be a curious combination of 
conditions. While mentally fearful, timid, and hesitat- 
ing, the individual finds himself, upon addressing a 
person, staring at him in the most ungainly manner. 


He is conscious of his ill manners, but is powerless to 
control himself. This sign is one which could hardly 
be of use to any except a very close observer, however, 
as few can read upon the countenance the operations of 
the mind. 

14. Mock piety — or perhaps we should more properly 
designate it as mistaken piety — is another peculiar man- 
ifestation of the effects of this vicious practice. The 
victim is observed to become transformed, by degrees, 
from a romping, laughing child, full of hilarity and frolic, 

to a sober and very sedate little Christian, the 

friends think, and they are highly gratified with the 
piety of the child. Little do they suspect the real cause 
of the solemn face ; not the slightest suspicion have they 
of the foul orgies practiced by the little sinner. By the 
aid of friends, he may soon add hypocrisy to his other 
crimes, and find in assumed devotion a ready pretense 
for seeking solitude. Parents will do well to investigate 
the origin of this kind of religion in their children. 

15. Easily frightened children are abundant among 
young masturbators, though all easily frightened persons 
are not vicious. It is certain, however, that the vice 
greatly exaggerates natural fear, and creates an unnat- 
ural apprehensiveness. The victim's mind is constantly 
filled with vague forebodings of evil. He often looks 
behind him, looks into all the closets, peeps under the 
bed, and is constantly expressing fears of impending 
evil. Such movements are the result of a diseased im- 
agination, and they may justly give rise to suspicion. 

16. Confusion of ideas is another characteristic of the 
devotee of this artful vice. If he attempts to argue, his 
points are not clearly made. He may be superficially 


quick and acute, but is incapable of deep thought or ab- 
struse reasoning, and is often very dull of apprehension. 
Ideas are not presented in logical order, but seem to fall 
out promiscuously, and fairly represent the condition of 
a disordered brain. Attempts at joking are generally 
failures, as the jest is sure to be inappropriate or vulgar, 
and no one but himself sees any occasion for laughter, 
except at his stupidity. Such individuals are not scarce. 

17. Boys in whom the habit has become well devel- 
oped, sometimes manifest a decided aversion to the so- 
ciety of girls ; but this is not nearly so often the case as 
some authors seem to indicate. It would rather appear 
that the opposite is more often true. Girls usually show 
an increasing fondness for the society of boys, and are 
very prone to exhibit marked evidences of real wanton- 

18. Round shoulders and a stooping posture in sitting 
are characteristics of young masturbators of both sexes. 
Whenever a child seats himself, the head and shoulders 
droop forward, giving to the spine a curved appearance. 

19. Weak backs , fains in the limbs, and stiffness of the 
joints, in children, are familiar signs of the habit. To 
the first of these conditions is due the habitual stooping 
posture assumed by these children. The habit referred 
to is not the only cause of these conditions ; but its caus- 
ative occurrence is sufficiently frequent to give it no 
small importance as a suspicious indication. 

20. Paralysis of the lower extremities, coming on 
without apparent cause, is not infrequently the result of 
solitary indulgence, even in very small children. We 
have seen several cases in which this condition was 
traced to the habit of masturbation, in children under 
six years of age. 


21. The gait of a person addicted to this vice will 
usually betray him to one who has learned to distin- 
guish the peculiarities which almost always mark the 
walk of such persons. In a child, a dragging, shuffling 
walk is to be suspected. Boys, in walking rapidly, 
show none of that elasticity which characterizes a nat- 
ural gait, but walk as if they had been stiffened in the 
hips, and as though their legs were pegs attached to the 
body by hinges. The girl wriggles along in a style 
quite as characteristic, though more difficult to detect 
with certainty, as girls are often so " affected " in 
their walk. Unsteadiness of gait is an evidence seen 
in both sexes, especially in advanced cases. 

22. Bad positions in bed are evidences which should 
be noticed. If a child lies constantly upon its abdomen, 
or is often found with its hands about the genitals, it 
may be at least considered in a fair way to acquire the 
habit, if it has not already done so. 

23. Lack of development of the breasts in females, 
after puberty, is a common result of self-pollution. Still 
it would be entirely unsafe to say that every female 
with small mammary glands had been addicted to this 
vice, especially at the present time, when a fair natural 
development is often destroyed by the constant pres- 
sure and heat of "pads." But this sign may well be 
given a due bearing. 

24. Capricious appetite particularly characterizes chil- 
dren addicted to secret vice. At the commencement of 
the practice, they almost invariably manifest great vorac- 
ity for food, gorging themselves in the most gluttonous 
manner. As the habit becomes fixed, digestion becomes 
impaired,, and the appetite is sometimes almost wanting, 
and at other times almost unappeasable. 


25. One very constant peculiarity of such children 
is their extreme fondness for unnatural, hurtful, and ir- 
ritating foods. Nearly all are greatly attached to salt, 
pepper, spices, cinnamon, cloves, vinegar, mustard, horse- 
radish, and similar articles, and use them in most inor- 
dinate quantities. A boy or girl who is constantly eat- 
ing cloves or cinnamon, or who will eat salt in quantities 
without other food, gives good occasion for suspicion. 

26. Eating clay, slate-pencils, plaster, chalk, and other 
indigestible articles is a practice to which girls who 
abuse themselves are especially addicted. The habit 
sometimes becomes developed to such a wonderful ex- 
tent that the victims almost rival the clay-eaters of the 
Amazon in gratifying their propensity. 

27. Disgust for simple food is one of the traits which 
a victim of this vice is likely to possess. He seems to 
loathe any food which is not rendered hot and stimu- 
lating with spices and other condiments, and cannot be 
induced to eat it. 

28. The use of tobacco is good presumptive evidence 
that a boy is also addicted to a practice still more filthy. 
Exceptions to this rule are very rare indeed, if they 
exist, which we somewhat doubt. The same influences 
which would lead a boy to the use of tobacco, would also 
lead him to solitary vice, and each sin would serve to 
exaggerate the other. 

29. Unnatural paleness and colorless lips, unless they 
can be otherwise accounted for, may be attributed to 
secret sin. The face is a great tell-tale against this class 
of sinners. Justice demands, however, that an indi- 
vidual should be given the benefit of a doubt so long as 
there is a chance for the production of these symptoms 



by any other known cause, as overwork, mental anxiety, 
or dyspepsia. 

30. Acne, or pimples on the face, is also among the 
suspicious signs, especially when it appears upon the 
forehead as well as upon other portions of the face. 
Occasional pimples upon the chin are very common in 
both sexes at puberty and for a few years afterward, 
but are without significance, except that the blood may 
be somewhat gross from unwholesome diet or lack of 

31. Biting the finger nails is a practice very common 
in girls addicted to this vice. In such persons there 
will also be found, not infrequently, slight soreness or 
ulceration at the roots of the nails, and warts, one or 
more, upon one or both the first two fingers of the hand, 
usually the right. 

32. The eyes often betray much. If, in addition to 
want of lustre and natural brilliancy, they are sunken, 
present red edges, are somewhat sore, perhaps, and are 
surrounded by a dark ring, the patient, especially if a 
child, should be suspected and carefully watched. It 
should be observed, however, that dyspepsia, debility 
from any cause, and especially loss of sleep, will produce 
some or all of these signs, and no one should be accused 
of the vice upon the evidence of these indications alone ; 
neither could he be justly suspected so long as his 
symptoms could be accounted for by legitimate causes. 

33. An habitually moist, cold hand, is a suspicious 
circumstance in a young person who is not known to be 
suffering from some constitutional disease. 

34. Palpitation of the heart, frequently occurring, 
denotes a condition of nervous disturbance which has 


some powerful cause, and which may often be found to 
be the vice in question. 

35. Hysteria in females may be regarded as a sus- 
picious circumstance when frequently occurring on very 
slight occasions, and especially if there is no hereditary 
tendency to the disease. 

36. Chlorosis, or green sickness, is very often caused 
by the unholy practice under consideration. It is very 
commonly attributed, when occurring in young women, 
to menstrual derangements ; but it is only necessary to 
remember that these menstrual irregularities are in many 
cases the result of the same habit, as has been already 
pointed out. 

37. Epileptic fits in children are not infrequently the 
result of vicious habits. 

38. Wetting the led 'is an evidence of irritation which 
may be connected with the practice ; it should be looked 

39. TJnchastity of speech and fondness for obscene 
stories betray a condition of mind which does not often 
exist in youth who are not addicted to this vice. 

As previously remarked, no single one of the above 
signs should be considered as conclusive evidence of 
the habit in any individual ; but any one of them may, 
and should, arouse suspicion and watchfulness. If the 
habit really exists, but a short time will elapse before 
other signs will be noticed ; and when several point in 
the same direction, the evidence may be considered 
nearly, if not quite, conclusive. But persistent watch- 
ing will enable the positive signs to be detected sooner 
or later, and then there can no longer be doubt. It is, 
of course, necessary to give the individual no suspicion 


that he is being watched, as that would put him so ef- 
fectually on his guard as,, possibly, to defy detection. 

Positive Signs.— The absolutely positive signs of 
solitary vice are very few. Of course the most certainly 
positive of all is detection in the act. Sometimes this is 
difficult, with such consummate cunning do the devotees 
of the Moloch pursue their debasing practice. If a child 
is noticed to seek a certain secluded spot with considerable 
regularity, he should be carefully followed and secretly 
watched, for several days in succession if need be. Many 
children pursue the practice at night after retiring. If the 
suspected one is observed to become very quickly quiet 
after retiring, and when looked at, appears to be asleep, 
the bedcloths should be quickly thrown off under some 
pretense. If, in the case of a boy, the penis is found in 
a state of erection, with the hands near the genitals, he 
may certainly be treated as a masturbator without any 
error. If he is found in a state of excitement, in connec- 
tion with the other evidences, with a quickening circu- 
lation, as indicated by the pulse, or in a state of 
perspiration, his guilt is certain, even though he may 
pretend to be asleep ; no doubt he has been addicted to 
the vice for a considerable time to have acquired so 
much cunning. If the same course is pursued with 
girls, under the same circumstances, the clitoris will be 
found congested, with the other genital organs, which 
will also be moist from increased secretion. Other con- 
ditions will be as nearly as possible the same as those in 
the boy. 

Stains upon the night-shirt or sheets, occurring 
before puberty, are certain evidences of the vice in boys, 
as they are subject, before that time, to no discharge 


which will leave a stain resembling that from the seminal 
fluid, except the rare one from piles. In the very 
young, these stains do not occur ; but when the habit is 
.acquired before puberty, a discharge resembling semen 
takes place before the ordinary period. Of course the 
stains from urine will be easily distinguished from others. 
The frequent occurrence of such stains after puberty is 
a suspicious circumstance. A discharge in some respects 
similar may occur in girls. 

Before puberty, the effect of the vice upon the genital 
organs is to cause an unnatural development, in both 
sexes, of the sensitive portions. When this is marked, 
it is pretty conclusive evidence of the vice. In girls, 
the vagina often becomes unnaturally enlarged, and 
leucorrhcea is often present. After puberty, the organs 
in males often diminish in size, and become unnaturally 
lax and shrunken. 

All these signs should be thoroughly mastered by 
those who have children under their care, and if not 
continually watching for them, which would be an 
unpleasant task, such should be on the alert to detect 
the signs at once when they appear, and then carefully 
seek for others until there is no longer any doubt about 
the case. 




The physician rarely meets more forlorn objects 
than the victims of prolonged self-abuse. These unfort- 
unate beings he meets every day of his life, and listens 
so often to the same story of shameful abuse and retrib- 
utive suffering, that he dreads to hear it repeated. In 
these cases, there is usually a horrid sameness — the 
same cause, the same inevitable results. In most cases, 
the patient need not utter a word ; for the physician can 
read in his countenance his whole history, as can most 
other people at all conversant with the subject. 

In order to secure the greatest completeness consist- 
ent with necessary brevity, we will describe the effects 
observed in males and those in females under separate 
heads, noticing the symptoms of each morbid condition 
in connection with its description. 

Effects in Males. 

We shall describe, first, the local effects, then the 
general effects, physical and mental. 

Local Effects. — Excitement of the genital organs, 
produces the most intense congestion. No other organs 
of the body are capable of such rapid and enormous 
engorgement. When the act is frequently repeated, 
this condition becomes permanent in some of the tissues, 
particularly in the mucous membrane lining the urethra. 
This same membrane continues into, and lines throughout, 
the bladder, kidneys, and all the urinary organs, together 
with the vesiculse seminales, the ejaculatory ducts, the 
vasa deferentia, and the testes. In consequence of (his 


continuity of tissue, any irritation affecting one part is 
liable to extend to another, or to all the rest. We 
mention this anatomical fact here as a help to the 
understanding of the different morbid conditions which 
will be noticed. 

Urethral Irritation. — The cnronic congestion of the 
urethra after a time becomes chronic irritability. The 
tissue is unusually sensitive, this condition being often 
indicated by a slight smarting in urination. It often 
extends throughout the whole length of the urethra, and 
becomes so intense that the passage of a sound, which 
would occasion little if any sensation in a healthy organ, 
produces the most acute pain, as we have observed in 
numerous instances, even when the greatest care was 
used in the introduction of the instrument. 

Shooting pains are often felt in the organ, due to this 
irritation. The pain is of a smarting character, and is in 
some cases most felt at the root, in others, at the head. 
It often darts from one point to another. Just before 
and just after urination the pain is most severe. 

Stricture. — Long-continued irritation of the mucous 
membrane of the urethra produces, ultimately, inflamma- 
tion and swelling of the same in some portion of its ex- 
tent. This condition may become permanent, and then 
constitutes real stricture, a most serious disease. More 
often the swelling is but transient, being due to some 
unusual excess, and will subside. Sometimes, also, a 
temporary stricture is produced by spasmodic contraction 
of the muscular fibers surrounding the urethra, which is 
excited by the local irritation. This kind of stricture 
is often met in the treatment of spermatorrhoea. 

Enlarged Prostate. — This painful affection is a fre- 


quent result of the chronic irritation in the urethra, 
which the gland surrounds, the morbid action being 
communicated to it by its proximity. A diseased action 
is set up, which results in enlargement and hardening. 
It is felt as a hard body just anterior to the anus, and 
becomes by pressure the source of much additional mis- 
chief. Sometimes the disease progresses to dangerous 
ulceration. It is attended by heat, pressure, and pain 
between the anus and the root of the penis. 

Permanent enlargement of the prostate is a very 
serious matter, since it interferes with the proper dis- 
charge of urine from the bladder, which ultimately leads 
to disease of the bladder itself, and may result even in 
death. This condition is the result of other forms of 
sexual excess as well as self-abuse. 

Urinary Diseases. — The same congestion and irrita- 
bility extend to the bladder and thence to the kidneys, 
producing irritation and inflammation of those organs. 
Mucus is often formed in large quantities ; sometimes 
much is retained in the bladder. Earthy matter is 
deposited, which becomes entangled in the mucus, and 
thus a concretion, or stone, is produced, occasioning 
much suffering, and perhaps death. 

We saw, not long since, a case of this kind. The 
patient was nearly sixty years of age, and had practiced 
masturbation from childhood. In consequence of his 
vice, a chronic irritation of the urethra had been pro- 
duced, which was followed by enlargement of the pros- 
tate, then by chronic irritation of the bladder, and the 
formation of stone. His sufferings were most excruciat- 
ing whenever he attempted to urinate, which was only 
accomplished with the greatest difficulty and suffering. 


One of the unpleasant results of irritation of the lin- 
ing membrane of the bladder is inability to retain the 
urine long, which requires frequent urination, and often 
causes incontinence of urine. 

Priapism.— This same morbid sensitiveness may pro- 
duce priapism, or continuous and painful erection, one of 
the most " terrible and humiliating conditions," as Dr. 
Acton says, to which the human body is subject. The 
horrid desperation of patients suffering under this condi- 
tion, is almost inconceivable. It is, fortunately, rare, in 
its most severe forms ; but hundreds suffer from it to a 
most painful degree as one of the punishments of the 
transgression of nature's laws ; and a most terrible 
punishment it is. 

Piles, Prolapsus of Rectum, etc.— As the result of 
the straining caused by stricture, piles, prolapsus of the 
rectum, and fissure of the anus are not infrequently 
induced, as the following case observed at Charity 
Hospital, New York, illustrates : — 

The patient had a peculiar deformity of the genital 
organs, hypospadias, which prevented sexual intercourse, 
in consequence of which he gave himself up to the 
practice of self-abuse. He had become reduced to the 
most deplorable condition of both mind and body, and 
presented a most woe-begone countenance. In addition to 
his general ailments, he suffered from extreme prolapsus 
of the rectum, and a most painful anal fissure. His 
condition was somewhat bettered by skillful surgical 

Extension of Irritation, — Serious and painful as are 
the affections already noticed, those which arise from 

the extension of the congestion and irritation of the 


urethra to those other organs most intimately connected 
with the function of generation, are still more dreadful to 
themselves^ and far more serious in their consequences. 
The irritation extends into the ejaculatory ducts, 
thence backward into the seminal vesicles, and down- 
ward through the vasa deferentia to the testes. These 
organs become unnaturally excited, and their activity is 
increased. The testicles form an abnormal amount of 
spermatozoa ; the seminal vesicles secrete their peculiar 
fluid too freely. From these two sources combined, the 
vesicles become loaded with seminal fluid, and this con- 
dition gives rise to a great increase of sexual excite- 

In cases of long standing, the irritation of the 
urethra at the openings of the ejaculatory ducts, a point 
just in front of the bladder, advances to inflammation 
and ulceration. Here is now established a permanent 
source of irritation, by which the morbid activity of the 
testes and seminal vesicles is kept up and continually 
increased. This condition is indicated by frequent 
twitching of the ejaculatory and compressor muscles in 
the perineum. It is also indicated by a burning sensa- 
tion at the root of the penis after urination, which, in 
severe cases, amounts to very serious pain. 

Atrophy, or Wasting of the Testes, — The first 
result of the irritation communicated to the testes, is, 
as already remarked, increased activity ; but this is at- 
tended by swelling in some cases, more or less pain, 
tenderness, and after a time, diminution in size. 

This degenerative process likewise affects the seminal 
fluid, which becomes more or less deteriorated and 
incapable of producing healthy offspring, even while it 


retains the power of fecundating the ovum, which it also 
ultimately loses, if the disease is not checked by proper 
treatment, when the individual becomes hopelessly im- 
potent, — a happy result for the race ; for it prevents the 
possibility of his imparting to another being his debili- 
tated constitution. 

Varicocele. — This morbid condition consists in a 
varicose state of the spermatic veins. It is almost 
always found upon the left side, owing to an anatomical 
peculiarity of the spermatic vein of that side. It has 
been supposed to be a result of masturbation and its 
effects, but is certainly caused otherwise in many cases. 
It is not infrequently found in these patients ; but Prof. 
Bartholomew contends that even in such cases we should 
"consider its presence, in general, as accidental." 
Atrophy of the left testicle is often produced by the 
pressure of the distended veins ; but this does not cer- 
tainly occasion impotence. It sometimes occurs simul- 
taneously on both sides, and certainly greatly aggravates 
the effects of self-abuse, if it is not itself an effect of the 

Nocturnal Emissions. — Seminal emissions during 
sleep, usually accompanied by erotic dreams, are known 
as nocturnal pollutions or emissions, and are often called 
spermatorrhoea, though there is some disagreement 
respecting the use of the latter term. Its most proper 
use is when applied to the entire group of symptoms 
which accompany involuntary seminal losses. 

The masturbator knows nothing of this disease so 
long as he continues his vile practice ; but when he 
resolves to reform, and ceases to defile himself volun- 
tarily, he is astonished and disgusted to find that the 


same filthy pollutions occur during sleep without his 
voluntary participation. He now begins to see some- 
thing of the ruin he has wrought. The same nightly 
loss continues, sometimes being repeated several times 
in a single night, to his infinite mortification and chagrin. 
He hopes the difficulty will subside of itself, but his 
hope is vain ; unless properly treated, it will probably 
continue until the ruin which he voluntarilv besran is 

This disease is the result of sexual excesses of any 
kind ; it is common in married men who have abused 
the marriage relation, when they are forced to temporary 
continence from any cause. It also occurs in those 
addicted to mental unchastity, though they may be 
physically continent. It is not probable that it would 
ever occur in a person who had been strictly continent, 
and had not allowed his mind to dwell upon libidinous 

Exciting Causes, — The exciting causes which serve 
to perpetuate this difficulty are chiefly two ; viz., local 
irritation and lewd thoughts. 

The first cause is usually chiefly located in the 
urethra, and especially at the mouths of the ejaculatory 
ducts. Distention of the seminal vesicles, with a super- 
abundance of seminal fluid, also acts as a source of irri- 
tation. Constipation, worms, and piles have an irritating 
influence, which is often very seriously felt. 

Unchaste thoughts act detrimentally in a twofold 
way. They first stimulate the activity of the testes, 
thus increasing the overloading of the seminal vesicles. 
Lascivious thoughts during wakefulness are the chief 
cause of lascivious dreams. 


Emissions do not usually occur during the soundest 
sleep, but during that condition which may be charac- 
terized as dozing, which is most often indulged early 
in the morning after the soundest sleep is passed. This 
fact has an important bearing upon treatment as will be 
seen hereafter. 

At first, the emissions are always accompanied by 
dreams, the patient usually awaking immediately after- 
ward ; but after a time they take place without dreams 
and without awaking him. and are unaccompanied by 
sensation. This denotes an advanced stage of the com- 

Certain circumstances greatly increase the frequency 
of the emissions, and thus hasten the injury which thev 
are certain to accomplish if not checked ; as neglect to 
relieve the bladder and bowels at night, late suppers, 
stimulating foods and drinks, and anything that will ex- 
cite the genital organs. Of all causes, amorous or erotic 
thoughts are the most powerful. Tea and coffee, spices 
and other condiments, and animal food have a special 
tendency in this direction. Certain positions in bed 
also serve as exciting or predisposing causes ; as sleeping- 
upon the back or the abdomen. Feather-beds and 
pillows and too warm covering in bed are also injurious 
for the same reason. 

In frequency, emissions will vary in different persons 
from an occasional one at long and irregular intervals, 
to two or three a week, or several — as many as four in 
one case we have met — in a single night. 

The immediate effect of an emission will depend upon 
the frequency of occurrence and the condition of the 
individual. If very infrequent, and occurring in a com- 


paratively robust person, after the seminal vesicles have 
become distended with seminal fluid, the immediate 
effect of an emission may be a sensation of temporary 
relief. This circumstance has led certain persons to 
suppose that emissions are natural and beneficial. This 
point will receive attention shortly. 

If the emissions are more frequent, or if they occur 
in a person of a naturally feeble constitution, the imme- 
diate effect is lassitude, languor, indisposition, and often 
inability to perform severe mental or physical labor, 
melancholy, amounting often to despair and even leading 
to suicide, and an exaggeration of local irritation, and of 
all the morbid conditions to be noticed under the head 
of " General Effects." Headache, indigestion, weakness 
of the back and knees, disturbed circulation, dimness of 
vision, and loss of appetite are only a few of these. 

Are Occasional Emissions Necessary or Harmless? 

— That an individual may suffer for years an involuntary 
seminal loss as often as once a month without apparently 
suffering very great injury, seems to be a settled fact 
with physicians of extensive experience, and is well 
confirmed by observation ; yet there are those who suf- 
fer severely from losses no more frequent than this. 
But when seminal losses occur more frequently than 
once a month, they will certainly ultimate in great 
injury, even though immediate ill effects are not noticed, 
as in exceptional cases they may not be. If argument 
is necessary to sustain this position, as it hardly seems 
to be, we would refer to the fact that seminal losses 
rarely occur in those who are, and always have been, 
continent both mentally and physically. They occur 
the most infrequently in those who most nearly ap- 


proach the standard of perfect chastity ; so that when- 
ever they occur, they may be taken as evidence of 
ill-health or some form of sexual excess. This fact 
clearly shows that losses of this kind are not natural. 

Emissions not Necessary to Health, — If it be 
argued that an occasional emission is necessary to relieve 
the overloaded seminal vesicles, we reply, The same 
argument has been used as an apology for unchastity ; 
but it is equally worthless in both instances. It might 
be as well argued that vomiting is a necessary physio- 
logical and healthful act, and should occur with regular- 
ity, because a person may so overload his stomach as to 
make the act necessary as a remedial measure. Vomit- 
ing is a diseased action, a pathological process, and is 
occasioned by a voluntary transgression of the indi- 
vidual. Hence, it is as unnecessary as gluttony, and 
must be wasteful of vitality, even though rendered 
necessary under some circumstances. So with emissions. 
If a person allows his mind to dwell upon unchaste sub- 
jects, indulges in erotic dreams, and riots in mental 
lasciviousness, he may render an emission almost neces- 
sary as a remedial effort. Nevertheless, he will suffer 
from the loss of nervous energy just the same as though 
he had not, by his own concupiscence, rendered it in 
some degree necessary. And as it would have been 
infinitely better for him to have retained and digested 
food in his stomach instead of ejecting it, — provided it 
were wholesome food, — so it would have been better for 
him to have retained in his system the seminal fluid, 
which would have been disposed of by the system, and 
probably utilized to very great advantage in the repair 
of the tissues. 


Eminent Testimony, — An eminent English physician,. 
Dr. Milton, who has treated many thousands of cases of 
this disease, remarks in a work upon the subject as fol- 
lows : — 

"Anything beyond one emission a month requires 
attention. I know this statement has been impugned, 
but I am quite prepared to abide by it. I did not put 
it forward till I considered I had quite sufficient evidence 
in my hands to justify me in doing so." 

" An opinion prevails, as most of my readers are a ware,, 
among medical men, that a few emissions in youth do 
good instead of harm. It is difficult to understand how 
an unnatural evacuation can do good, except in the case 
of unnatural congestion. I have, however, convinced 
myself that the principle is wrong. Lads never really 
feel better for emissions ; they very often feel decidedly 
worse. Occasionally they may fancy there is a sense of 
relief, but it is very much the same sort of relief that 
a drunkard feels from a dram. In early life the stomach 
may be repeatedly overloaded with impunity; but I 
suppose few would contend that overloading ^vas there- 
fore good. The fact is that emissions are invariably 
more or less injurious \ not always visibly so in youth, 
nor susceptible of being assessed as to the damage in- 
flicted by any given number of them, but still contribut- 
ing, each in its turn, a mite toward the exhaustion and 
debility which the patient will one day complain of." 

Diurnal Emissions.— As the disease progresses, the 
irritation and weakness of the organs become so great 
that an erection and emission occur upon the slightest 
sexual excitement. Mere proximity to a female, or the 
thought of one, will be sufficient to produce a pollution, 


attended by voluptuous sensations. But after a time 
the organs become so diseased and irritable that the 
slightest mechanical irritation, as friction of the cloth- 
ing, the sitting posture, or riding horseback, will pro- 
duce a discharge which may or may not be attended 
by sensation of any kind. Frequently, a burning or 
more or less painful sensation occurs. After a time, 
erection no longer takes place. Even straining at stool 
will produce the discharge, or violent efforts to retain 
the feces when there is unnatural looseness. 

The amount of the discharge may vary from a few 
drops to one or two drams, or even more. The charac- 
ter of the discharge is of considerable importance. When 
it occurs under the circumstances last described, viz., 
without erection or voluptuous sensations, it may be of 
a true seminal character, or it may contain no sperma- 
tozoa. This point can be determined by the microscope 
alone. The discharge is the result of sexual excitement 
or irritation, nevertheless, and indicates a most deplor- 
able condition of the genital organs. The patient is 
sometimes .unnecessarily frightened by it, and often 
exaggerates the amount of the losses, and the symptoms 
arising from them. However, when a single nocturnal 
emission occasions such detrimental results, what must 
be the effect of repeated discharges occurring several 
times a day, or every time an individual relieves his 
bowels, urinates, or entertains an unvirtuous thought ! 
If the losses were always seminal, the work of ruin would 
soon be complete ; fortunately, those discharges which 
are the most frequent are only occasionally of a true 
seminal character. It is not so, however, as has been 
claimed by some writers, one at least, that they are 



never seminal, as we have proved by repeated micro- 
scopic examinations. 

Causes of Diurnal Emissions, — The causes of these 
discharges are spasmodic action of the muscles involved 
in ejaculation, which is occasioned by local irritation, 
and pressure upon the seminal vesicles by the distended 
rectum or bladder. They denote a condition of debility 
and irritation which may well occasion grave alarm. 

In occasional instances, the internal irritation reaches 
such a hight that blood is discharged with the seminal 

Spontaneous ejaculation as the result of a depraved 
state of mind is not infrequent in women who give them- 
selves up to evil thoughts. The observations of the 
author will support the view that this form of disease is 
more frequent in women than in men. Women whose 
sexual organs have been weakened by abuse are most 
likely to suffer in this way, as also from involuntary 
ejaculation occurring at night. 

Internal Emissions. — As the disease progresses, ex- 
ternal discharges finally cease, in some cases, or partially 
so, and the individual is encouraged by that circumstance 
to think that he is recovering. He soon discovers his 
error, however, for he continues to droop, even though 
the discharges apparently cease altogether. This seems 
a mystery until some medical friend or a medical work 
calls his attention to the fact that the discharges now 
occur internally instead of externally, the seminal fluid 
passing back into the bladder, and being voided with the 
urine, a microscopic examination of which shows the 
presence of zoosperms. 

An Important Caution.— It is necessary, however, 


to caution the reader not to pronounce every whitish 
sediment or flocculent matter found in the urine to be 
a seminal discharge, for the great majority are of a dif- 
ferent character. They are most frequently simply 
mucus or phosphates from the bladder. Seminal fluid 
cannot be distinguished from mucus by any other than 
a careful microscopic examination. A microscope of 
good quality, and capable of magnifying at least one 
hundred and fifty diameters, is required, together with 
considerable skill in the operator. Quacks have done 
an immense amount of harm by frightening patients into 
the belief that they were suffering from discharges of 
this kind, when there was, in fact, nothing more than a 
copious deposit of phosphates, which is not at all infre- 
quent in nervous people, especially after eating. 

When the condition described does really exist, how- 
ever, the patient cannot make too much haste to put 
himself under the care of a competent physician for 
treatment. If there is even a reasonable suspicion that 
it may exist, he should have his urine carefully exam- 
ined by one competent to criticise it intelligently. 

Spermatorrhoea. — By many authors, the term sperma- 
torrhoea is confined entirely to this stage of the disease. 
It is said that in many cases the forcible interrup- 
tion of ejaculation has been the cause of this unfortu- 
nate condition. Such a proceeding is certainly very 

One more caution should be offered ; viz., that the 
occasional presence of spermatozoa in the urine is not a 
proof of the existence of internal emissions, as a few 
zoosperms may be left in the urethra after a voluntary 
or nocturnal emission, and thus find their way into the 
urine as it is discharged from the bladder. 


Impotence. — In the progress of the disease, a point 
is finally reached when the victim not only loses all de- 
sire for the natural exercise of the sexual function, but 
when such an act becomes impossible. This condition 
may have been reached even before all the preceding 
symptoms have been developed. Ultimately it becomes 
impossible to longer practice the abominable vice itself, 
on account of the great degeneration and relaxation of 
the organs. The approach of this condition is indicated 
by increasing loss of erectile power, which is at first only 
temporary, but afterward becomes permanent. Still the 
involuntary discharges continue, and the victim sees him- 
self gradually sinking lower and lower into the pit which 
his own hands have dug. The misery of his condition 
is unimaginable, — manhood lost, his body a wreck, and 
death staring him in the face. 

This is a brief sketch of the local effects of the hor- 
rid vice of self-abuse. The description has not been at 
all overdrawn. We have yet to consider the general 
effects, some of which have already been incidentally 
touched upon in describing nocturnal emissions, with 
their immediate results. 

General Effects, — The many serious effects which 
follow the habit of self-abuse, in addition to those terri- 
ble local maladies already described, are the direct re- 
sult of two causes in the male ; viz., — 

1. Nervous exhaustion. 

2. Loss of the seminal fluid. 

There has been much discussion as to which one of 
these was the cause of the effects observed in these 
cases. Some have attributed all the evil to one cause, 
and some to the other. That the loss of semen is not 


the only cause, nor, perhaps, the chief source of injury, 
is proved by the fact that most deplorable effects of the 
vice are seen in children before puberty, and also in fe- 
males, in whom no seminal discharge nor anything anal- 
ogous to it occurs. In these cases, it is the nervous 
shock alone which works the evil. 

Again, that the seminal fluid is the most highly vi- 
talized of all the fluids of the body, and that its rapid 
production is at the expense of a most exhaustive effort 
on the part of the vital forces, is well attested by all 

The nervous shock accompanying the exercise of 
the sexual organs, either natural or unnatural, is the 
most profound to which the system is subject. The 
whole nervous system is called into activity ; and the 
effects are occasionally so strongly felt upon a weakened 
organism that death results in the very act. The sub- 
sequent exhaustion is necessarily proportionate to the 

It need not be surprising, then, that the effects of 
the frequent operation of two such powerful influences 
combined should be so terrible as they are found to be. 

General Debility. — Nervous exhaustion and the 
loss of the vivifying influence of the seminal fluid, pro- 
duce extreme mental and physical debility, which in- 
creases as the habit is practiced, and is continued by 
involuntary emissions after the habit ceases. If the 
patient's habits are sedentary, and if he had a delicate 
constitution at the start, his progress toward the grave 
will be fearfully rapid, especially if the habit were ac- 
quired young, as it most frequently is by such boys, 
they being generally precocious. Extreme emacia- 


tion, sallow or blotched skin, sunken eyes, surrounded 
by a dark or blue color, general weakness, dullness,, 
weak back, stupidity, laziness, or indisposition to activity 
of any kind, wandering and illy defined pains, obscure 
and often terrible sensations, pain in back and limbs, 
sleeplessness, and a train of morbid symptoms too long 
to mention in detail, attend the sufferers. 

Consumption, — It is well recognized by experi- 
enced medical men that this vice is one of the most 
frequent causes of consumption. At least, such would 
seem to be the declaration of experience, and the fol- 
lowing statistical fact adds weight to the conclusion : — 

" Dr. Smith read a paper before a learned medical 
association a few years since, in which he pointed out 
the startling fact that in one thousand cases of consump- 
tion, five hundred and eighteen had suffered from some 
form of sexual abuse, and more than four hundred had' 
been addicted to masturbation, or suffered from nocturnal 
emissions." * 

" Most of those who early become addicted to self- 
pollution, are soon afterward the subjects, not merely of 
one or more of the ailments already noticed, but also of 
enlargements of the lymphatic and other glands, ulti- 
mately of tubercular deposits in the lungs and other 
viscera, or of scrofulous disease of the vertebrae or bones, 
or of other structures, more especially of the joints. "f 

Many young men waste away and die of symptoms 
resembling consumption which are solely the result of 
the loathsome practice of self-abuse. The real number 
of consumptives whose disease originates in this manner 
can never be known. 

* Acton. f Copland. 


Dyspepsia. — Indigestion is frequently one of the 
first results. Nervous exhaustion is always felt by the 
stomach very promptly. When dyspepsia is once really 
established, it reacts upon the genital organs, increasing 
their irritability as well as that of all the rest of the 
nervous system. Now there is no end to the ills which 
may be suffered ; for an impaired digestion lays the 
system open to the inroads of almost any and every 

Heart Disease. — Functional disease of the heart, 
indicated by excessive palpitation on the slightest exer- 
tion, is a very frequent symptom. Though it unfits the 
individual for labor, and causes him much suffering, he 
would be fortunate if he escaped with no disease of a 
more dangerous character. 

Throat Affections. — There is no doubt that many of 
the affections of the throat in young men, and older ones, 
which pass under the name of " clergyman's sore throat," 
are the direct result of masturbation and emissions. 

Dr. Acton cites several cases in proof of this, and 
quotes the following letter from a young clergyman : — 

" When I began the practice of masturbation, at the 
age of sixteen, I was in the habit of exercising my voice 
regularly. The first part in which I felt the bad effects 
of that habit was in the organs of articulation. After 
the act, the voice wanted tone, and there was a disagree- 
able feeling about the throat which made speaking a 
source of no pleasure to me as it had been. By-and-by 
it became painful to speak after the act. This arose 
from a feeling as if a morbid matter was being secreted 
in the throat, so acrid that it sent tears to the eyes 
when speaking, and would have taken away the 


breath if not swallowed. This, however, passed away 
in a day or two after the act. In the course of years, 
when involuntary emissions began to impair the consti- 
tution, this condition became permanent. The throat 
always feels very delicate, and there is often such 
irritability in it, along with this feeling of the secretion 
of morbid matter, as to make it impossible to speak 
without swallowing at every second or third word. 
This is felt even in conversation, and there is a great 
disinclination to attempt to speak at all. In many 
instances, in which the throat has been supposed to give 
way from other causes, I have known this to be the real 
one. May it not be that the general irritation always 
produced by the habit referred to, shows itself also in 
this organ, and more fully in those who are required 
habitually to exercise it ? " 

Nervous Diseases, — There is no end to the nervous 
affections to which the sufferer from this vice is subjected. 
Headaches, neuralgias, symptoms resembling hysteria, 
sudden alternations of heat and cold, irregular flushing 
of the face, and many other affections, some of the more 
important of which we will mention in detail, are his 
constant companions. 

Epilepsy. — This disease has been traced to the vile 
habit under consideration in so many cases that it is now 
very certain that in many instances this is its origin. 
It is of frequent occurrence in those who have indulged 
in solitary vice or any other form of sexual excess. 
We have met a number of cases in which the disease 
was due to this cause. 

Failure of Special Senses.— Dimness of vision, am- 
aurosis, spots before the eyes, with other forms of ocular 


weakness, are common results of this vice. The same 
degeneration and premature failure occur in the organs 
of hearing. In fact, sensibility of all the senses becomes 
in some measure diminished in old cases. 

Spinal Irritation. — Irritation of the spinal cord, with 
its resultant evils, is one of the most common of the 
nervous affections originating in this cause. Tenderness 
of the spine, numerous pains in the limbs, and spasmodic 
twitching of the muscles, are some of its results. Paraly- 
sis, partial or complete, of the lower limbs, and even of 
the whole body, is not a rare occurrence. We have seen 
a number of cases in which this was well marked. Two 
of the patients were small boys who began to excite the 
genital organs at a very early age. In one, the para- 
lytic condition was complete when he was held erect. 
The head fell forward, the arms and limbs hung down 
helpless, the eyes rolled upward, and the saliva dribbled 
from his mouth. When lying flat upon his back, he had 
considerable control of his limbs. In this case, a condi- 
tion of priapism seems to have existed almost from birth, 
owing to congenital phimosis. His condition was some- 
what improved by circumcision. 

In another case, in which phimosis also existed, 
there was paralysis of a few of the muscles of the leg, 
which produced club-foot. Circumcision was also per- 
formed in this case, and the child returned in a few 
weeks completely cured, without any other application, 
though it had previously been treated in a great variety 
of ways without success, all the usual remedies for club- 
foot proving ineffectual. Both of these cases appeared 
in the clinic of Dr. Sayre at Bellevue Hospital, and were 
operated upon by him. 


A few years ago^ we observed several cases of spinal 
disease which could be traced to no origin but masturba- 
tion. Two patients were small boys, naturally quite in- 
telligent. They manifested all thr peculiarities of loco- 
motor ataxia in older persons, walking with the charac- 
teristic gait. The disease was steadily progressing in 
spite of all attempts to stay it. An older brother had 
died of the same malady, paralysis extending over the 
whole body, and finally preventing deglutition, so that 
he really starved to death. 

Insanity. — That solitary vice is one of the most 
common causes of insanity, is a fact too well established 
to need demonstration here. Every lunatic asylum fur- 
nishes numerous illustrations of the fact. " Authors are 
universally agreed, from Galen down to the present day, 
about the pernicious influence of this enervating indul- 
gence, and its strong propensity to generate the very 
worst and most formidable kinds of insanity. It has 
frequently been known to occasion speedy and even 
instant insanity." * 

" Religious insanity," so-called, may justly be attrib- 
uted to this cause in a great proportion of cases. The 
individual is conscience-smitten in view of his horrid 
sins, and a sense of his terrible condition — ruined for 
both worlds, he fears — goads him to despair, and his 
weakened intellect fails, reason is dethroned, and he 
becomes a hopeless lunatic. His friends, knowing noth- 
ing of the real cause of his mysterious confessions of ter- 
rible sin, think him over-conscientious, and lay the blame 
of his insanity upon religion, when it is solely the result 
of his vicious habits, of which they are ignorant. 

* Arnold. 


In other cases, the victim falls into a profound mel- 
ancholy from which nothing can divert him. He never 
laughs ; does not even smile. He becomes more and 
more reserved and taciturn, and perhaps ends the scene 
by committing suicide. This crime is not at all uncom- 
mon with those who have gone the whole length of the 
evil road. They find their manhood gone, the vice in 
which they have so long delighted is no longer possible, 
and in desperation they put an end to the miserable 
life which nature might end in a few months if not 
thus violently superseded. 

Idiocy. — If the practice is continued uninterruptedly 
from boyhood to manhood, imbecility and idiocy are the 
result. Demented individuals are met in no small 
numbers in hospitals and asylums, and out of them as 
well, who owe to this vice their awful condition. Plenty 
of the half-witted men one meets in the every-day walks 
of life, have destroyed the better half of their under- 
standing by this wretched practice. 

A Victim's Mental Condition Pictured.— The mental 
condition of a victim of this vice cannot be better 
described than is done in the following paragraphs by 
one, himself a victim, though few of these unfortunate 
individuals would be able to produce so accurate and 
critical a portrait of themselves as is here drawn by M. 
Rosseau, as quoted by Mr. Acton : — 

" One might say that my heart and my mind do not 
belong to the same person. My feelings, quicker than 
lightning, fill my soul ; but instead of illuminating, they 
burn and dazzle me. I feel everything ; I see nothing. 
I am excited, but stupid ; I cannot think except in cold 
blood. The wonderful thing is that I have sound enough 


tact, penetration, wen. finesse, if people will wait for me. I 
make excellent impromptus at leisure; but at the moment 
I have nothing ready to say or do. I should converse 
brilliantly by post, as they say the Spaniards play at 
chess. When I read of a Duke of Savoy who turned 
back after starting on his journey to say, ' In your 
teeth ! you Paris shop-keeper ! ' I said, ' That is like 
me ! 

" But not only is it a labor to me to express, but also 
to receive, ideas. I have studied men, and I think I am 
a tolerably good observer ; yet I can see nothing of 
what I do see. I can hardly say that I see anything 
except what I recall ; I have no power of mind but in 
my recollection. Of all that is said, of all that is done, 
of all that passes in my presence, I feel nothing, I 
appreciate nothing. The external sign is all that strikes 
me. But after a while it all comes back to me." 

Effects in Females. 

Local Effects. — The local diseases produced by the 
vice in females are, of course, of a different nature from 
those seen in males, on account of the difference in 
organization. They arise, however, in the same way, 
congestions at first temporary, ultimately becoming per- 
manent, and resulting in irritation and various disorders. 

Leucorrhcea. — The results of congestion first appear 
in the mucous membrane lining the vagina, which is 
also injured by mechanical irritation, and consists of a 
catarrhal discharge which enervates the system. By 
degrees the discharge increases in quantity and virulence, 
extending backward until it reaches the sensitive womb. 

Contact with the acrid, irritating secretions of the 


vagina produces soreness of the fingers at the roots of 
the nails, and also frequently causes warts upon the 
fingers. Hence the value of these signs, as previously 

Uterine Disease. — Congestion of the womb is also 
produced by the act of abuse ; and as the habit is con- 
tinued, it also becomes permanent. This congestion, 
together with the contact of the acrid vaginal discharge, 
finally produces superficial ulceration or abrasion upon 
the neck of the womb, together with other diseases. 

Another result of congestion is all kinds of menstrual 
derangements after puberty, the occurrence of which 
epoch is hastened by the habit. 

Prolapsus and various displacements are produced in 
addition to these menstrual irregularities. The most 
common forms of displacement resulting from self-abuse, 
are retroflexion and retroversion, which are usually ac- 
companied by congestion and enlargement of the womb, 
catarrh of the lining membrane of the womb, and relax- 
ation of the vagina. When these conditions are present 
in a young woman, together with the enlargement of the 
labia and clitoris, they may be looked upon as positive 
evidence of the existence of the habit. After a large 
experience in this class of cases, in which an opinion of 
the nature of the case has been based upon the symptoms 
named, the author has never found such an opinion 

Sterility. — Sterility, dependent on a total loss of 
sexual desire and inability to participate in the sexual 
act, is another condition which is declared by medical 
authors to be most commonly due to previous habits of 
self-abuse. In consequence of overexcitement, the organs 


become relaxed, the natural tone is lost, and they become 
so much depleted that they are unable to respond to the 
natural stimulus, and the sexual act is not only not 
accompanied by sensation, but is even attended by dis- 
gust and a sense of extreme exhaustion. Among many 
cases of this sort which have come to the notice of the 
author, in only one or two has he been unable to trace 
the abnormal conditions to the practice of self-abuse in 
early life. 

Atrophy of Mammae. — Closely connected with other 
local results is the deficient development of the breasts 
when the vice is begun before or at puberty, and atrophy 
if it is begun or continued after development has oc- 
curred. As previously remarked, this is not the sole 
cause of small mammae, but it is one of the great causes. 

Pruritis, or Itching Genitals. — This is an affection 
not infrequent in these subjects. Continued congestion 
produces a terrible itching of the genitals, which increases 
until the individual is in a state of actual frenzy, and 
the disposition to manipulate the genitals becomes irre- 
sistible, and is indulged even in the presence of friends 
or strangers, and though the patient be at other times a 
young woman of exceptional modesty. In cases of this 
kind, marked hypertrophy of the organ of greatest sen- 
sibility has been observed, and in some cases amputation 
of this part has been found the only cure. 

Nocturnal Ejaculation in Females.— A disorder an- 
alogous to nocturnal emissions in the male, occurs in 
females who have been addicted to this vice. An erotic 
dream is accompanied by ejaculation, which is followed 
on the succeeding day by all the unpleasant symptoms 
of nervous irritability, headache, backache, etc., which 
are experienced by males subject to seminal losses. 


General Effects. — The general effects in the female 
are much the same as those in the male. Although 
women suffer no seminal loss, they suffer the debilitating 
effects of leucorrhcea, which is in some degree injurious 
in the same manner as seminal losses in the male. But 
in females the greatest injury results from the nervous 
exhaustion which follows the unnatural excitement. 
Nervous diseases of every variety are developed. Ema- 
ciation and debility become more marked even than in 
the male, and the worst results are produced sooner, 
being hastened by the sedentary habits of these females. 
Insanity is more frequently developed than in males. 

Spinal irritation is so frequent a result that a recent 
surgical author has said that " spinal irritation in girls 
and women is, in a majority of cases, due to self-abuse.* 

A Common Cause of Hysteria. — This, too, is one 
of the most frequent causes of hysteria, chorea, and 
epilepsy among young women, though not often recog- 

A writer, quoted several times before in this work, 
remarks as follows : — 

" This is not a matter within the scope of general 
investigation ; truth is not to be expected from its 
habitues ; parents are deceived respecting it, believing 
rather what they wish than what they fear. Even the 
physician can but suspect, till time develops more fully 
by hysterias, epilepsies, spinal irritations, and a train of 
symptoms unmistakable even if the finally extorted con- 
fession of the poor victim did not render the matter clear. 
Marriage does, indeed, often arrest this final catastrophe, 
and thus apparently shifts the responsibility upon other 

* Davis. 


shoulders, and to the ' injurious effects of early mar- 
riages,' to the ' ills of maternity/ are ascribed the results 
of previous personal abuse. 

" For statistics and further information on this all- 
important subject, we must refer the reader to the opin- 
ions of physicians who have the charge of our retreats 
for the insane, lunatic asylums, and the like ; to the 
discriminating physicians of the families of the upper 
classes, — stimulated alike by food, drinks, scenes where 
ease is predominant, where indolence is the habit, and 
novel-reading is the occupation, — for further particulars 
on a subject here but barely alluded to." * 

Effects upon Offspring. 

If sterility does not result, children are liable to be 
" delicate, puny, decrepit, or subject to various congenital 
maladies, especially of the nervous system, to idiocy 
from deficient development of the brain, to hydrocepha- 
lus, to epilepsy, convulsions, palsy. The scrofulous 
diathesis, tubercular and glandular maladies, diseases of 
the vertebrse and of the joints, softening of the central 
portions of the brain, and tuberculous formations in the 
membranes, palsy and convulsions, chorea, inflammations 
of the membranes or substance of the brain or spinal 
cord, and numerous other affections to which infants and 
children are liable, very commonly result from the prac- 
tice of self-pollution by either of the parents previous to 
marriage. But the evil does not always stop at this 
epoch of existence ; it often extends throughout the life 
of the offspring, or it appears only with puberty and 
mature age." 

Neglect Dangerous. — Too frequently, the victim of 

* Gardner. 


self-abuse, when he finds himself suffering from the first 
results of his sin, neglects to adopt any measures for the 
cure of the disease. Not understanding its inveterate 
character, he labors under the delusion that it will cure 
itself in time. This is a fatal mistake. The diseased 
conditions induced by this vice never improve them- 
selves. Their constant tendency is to increase in viru- 
lence and inveteracy. The necessity of taking prompt 
measures for relief is too apparent to need especial em- 





After having duly considered tho causes and effects 
of this terrible evil, the question next in order for con- 
sideration is, How shall it be cured ? When a person 
has, through ignorance or weakness, brought upon him- 
self the terrible effects described, how shall ho find re- 
lief from his ills, if restoration is possible ? To the 
answer of these inquiries, most of the remaining pages 
of this work will be devoted. But before entering upon 
a description of methods of cure, a brief consideration 
of the subject of prevention of the habit will be in order. 

Prevention of Secret Vice. 

For the rising generation, those yet innocent of the 
evil practices so abundant in this age of sensuality, how 
the evil habit may be prevented is the most important 
of all questions connected with this subject. This topic 
should be especially interesting to parents ; for even 
those who are themselves sensual, have seen enough of 
the evils of such a life to wish that their children may 
remain pure. There are, indeed, rare exceptions to this 
rule ; for we sometimes learn of parents who have 
deliberately led their own children into vice, as though 
they desired to make them share their shame and 

Cultivate Chastity.— From earliest infancy, all those 
influences and agencies which cultivate chastity, should 
be brought into active exercise. These we need not 
repeat here, having previously dwelt upon them so 


fully. The reader is recommended to re-peruse the 
portion of the work devoted to this subject, in connec- 
tion with the present section. If parents have them- 
selves indulged in this vice, they should use special care 
that all the generative and gestative influences brought 
to bear upon their children are the purest possible, so 
that they may not inherit a predisposition to sin in this 

Special care should be exercised to avoid corrupt 
servants and associates. Every servant not known to 
be pure should be suspected until proof of innocence has 
been established. They should be especially instructed 
of the evil arising from manipulation of the genitals, 
even in infants, as they may do immense harm through 
simple ignorance. 

Timely Warning. — But in spite of chaste surround- 
ings and all other favorable circumstances, if the child is 
left in ignorance of his danger, he may yet fall a victim 
to the devices of servants or corrupt playmates, or may 
himself make a fatal discovery. Hence arises the duty 
of warning children of the evil before the habit has been 
formed. This is a duty that parents seldom perform, 
even when they are not unaware of the danger. They 
in some way convince themselves that their children, at 
least, are pure, even if others are corrupt. It is often 
the most difficult thing in the world for parents to com- 
prehend the fact that their children are not the best 
children in the world, perfect paragons of purity and in- 
nocence. There is an unaccountable and unreasonable 
delicacy on the part of parents about speaking of sexual 
subjects to their children. In consequence, their young, 
inquisitive minds are left wholly in ignorance, unless, 
perchance, they gain information from some vile source. 


Objections are raised against talking to children or 
young persons about matters in any degree pertaining- 
to the sexual organs or functions. Some of the more 
important of them are considered in the introduction to 
this work, and we need not repeat here. 

Early Instruction. — The little one should be taught 
from earliest infancy to abstain from handling the gen- 
itals, being made to regard it as a very improper act. 
When the child becomes old enough to understand and 
reason, he may be further informed of the evil conse- 
quences ; then, as he advances in years, the functions of 
the organs may be explained with sufficient fullness to 
satisfy his natural craving for knowledge. 

If this course were pursued, how many might be 
saved from ruin ! It is, of course, necessary that the 
parents shall themselves be acquainted with the true 
functions of the organs before they attempt to teach any 
one else, especially children. Many parents might re- 
ceive benefit from being obliged to " study up ; " for it 
is a lamentable fact, the ill effects of which are every 
day seen, that a great many people have spent a very 
large portion of their lives without ever ascertaining the 
true function of the reproductive organs, though living 
in matrimony for many years. Some of the conse- 
quences of this ignorance have been portrayed in pre- 
vious pages. 

" Oh ! why did not some kind friend tell me of the 
harm I was doing myself ? " has been the exclamation 
of many an unfortunate sufferer from this vice. A 
warning voice should be raised to save those who are 
ignorantly working their own destruction. Parents, 
teachers, ministers, all who have access to the youth, 
should sound the note of alarm in their ears, that if pos- 


sible they may be saved from the terrible thralldom 
pictured by a writer in the following lines : — 

A Dark Picture, — " The waters have gone over me. 
But out of the black depths, could I be heard, I would 
cry to all those who have set a foot in the perilous flood. 
Could the youth look into my desolation, and be made 
to understand what a dreary thing it is when a man 
shall feel himself going down a precipice with open eyes 
and passive will — to see his destruction and have no 
power to stop it, and yet to feel it all the way emanat- 
ing from himself; to perceive all goodness emptied out 
of him, and yet not be able to forget a time when it was 
otherwise ; to bear about with him the spectacle of his 
own self-ruin ; could he feel the body of death out of 
which I cry hourly with feebler and feebler outcry to be 

Curative Treatment of the Effects 
of Self- Abuse. 

When the habit and its effects are of very short dura- 
tion, a cure is very readily accomplished, especially in 
the cases of children and females, as in them the evils 
hegun are not continued in the form of involuntary pol- 
lutions. In cases of longer standing in males, the task 
is more difficult, but still the prospect of recovery is 
very favorable, provided the co-operation of the patient 
can be secured ; without this, little can be done. But 
in these cases, the patient may as well be told at the 
outset that the task of undoing the evil work of years of 
sin is no easy matter. It can only be accomplished by 
determined effort, by steady perseverance in right do- 
ing, and in the application of necessary remedies. Those 


who have long practiced the vice, or long suffered se- 
verely from its effects, have received an injury which 
will inevitably be life-long to a greater or less extent in 
spite of all that can be done for them. Yet such need 
not despair, for they may receive inestimable benefit by 
the prevention of greater damage, which they are sure 
to suffer if the disease is allowed to go unchecked. 

Cure of the Habit. — The preliminary step in treat- 
ment is always to cure the vice itself if it still exists. 
The methods adopted for this purpose must differ ac- 
cording to the age of the individual patient. 

In children, especially those who have recently ac- 
quired the habit, it can be broken up by admonishing 
them of its sinfulness, and portraying in vivid colors its 
terrible results, if the child is old enough to comprehend 
such admonitions. In addition to faithful warnings, the 
attention of the child should be fully occupied by work, 
study, or pleasant recreation. He should not be left 
alone at any time lest he yield to temptation. Work is 
an excellent remedy ; work that will really make him 
very tired, so that when he goes to bed he will have no 
disposition to defile himself. It is best to place such a 
child under the care of a faithful person of older years, 
whose special duty it shall be to watch him night and 
day until the habit is thoroughly overcome. 

In younger children, with whom moral considerations 
will have no particular weight, other devices may be 
used. Bandaging the parts has been practiced with 
success. Tying the hands is also successful in some 
cases ; but this will not always succeed, for they will 
often contrive to continue the habit in other ways, as 
by working the limbs, or lying upon the abdomen. 


Covering the organs with a cage has been practiced 
with entire success. A remedy w T hich is almost always 
successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when 
there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should 
be performed by a surgeon without administering an an- 
aesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will 
have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be 
connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well 
be in some cases. The soreness which continues for 
several weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not 
previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten 
and not resumed. If any attempt is made to watch the 
child, he should be so carefully surrounded by vigilance 
that he cannot possibly transgress without detection. 
If he is only partially watched, he soon learns to elude 
observation, and thus the effect is only to make him 
cunning in his vice. 

In adults or youth a different plan must be pursued. 
In these cases, moral considerations, and the inevitable 
consequences to health of body and mind, are the chief 
influences by which a reform is to be effected, if at all. 
These considerations may be urged with all possible 
eloquence and earnestness, but should not be exagger- 
ated. The truth is terrible enough. If there are any 
special influences which may be brought to bear upon a 
particular individual, — and there always will be some- 
thing of this sort, owing to peculiarities of temperament 
or circumstances, — these should be promptly employed, 
and applied in such a manner as to secure for them their 
full bearing. 

Through the courtesy of Dr. Archibald, Superintend- 
ent of the Iowa Asylum for Feeble-Minded Children, 


we have become acquainted with a method of treatment 
of this disorder which is applicable in refractory cases, 
and we have employed it with entire satisfaction. It 
consists in the application of one or more silver sutures in 
such a way as to prevent erection. The prepuce, or fore- 
skin, is drawn forward over the glans, and the needle to 
which the wire is attached is passed through from one side 
to the other. After drawing the wire through, the ends 
are twisted together, and cut off close. It is now im- 
possible for an erection to occur, and the slight irrita- 
tion thus produced acts as a most powerful means of 
overcoming the disposition to resort to the practice. 

In females, the author has found the application of 
pure carbolic acid to the clitoris an excellent means of 
allaying the abnormal excitement, and preventing the 
recurrence of the practice in those whose will-power has 
become so weakened that the patient is unable to exer- 
cise entire self-control. 

The worse cases among young women are those in 
which the disease has advanced so far that erotic 
thoughts are attended by the same voluptuous sensations 
which accompany the practice. The author has met many 
cases of this sort in young women, who acknowledged 
that the sexual orgasm was thus produced, often sev- 
eral times daily. The application of carbolic acid in 
the manner described is also useful in these cases in 
allaying the abnormal excitement, which is a frequent 
provocation of the practice of this form of mental mas- 

But after all, the most must be done by the individ- 
ual himself. All that others can do for him is to 
surround him with favoring circumstances, and arouse 


him to a proper sense of his real condition and danger. 
If this can be thoroughly accomplished, there is much 
reason to hope ; but if the individual has become so lost 
to all sense of purity, all aspirations toward purity, that 
he cannot be made to feel the need of reformation, his 
case is hopeless. 

How May a Person Help Himself 1 ?— The following 
suggestions will be found useful in fighting the battle 
with vice and habit : — 

1. Begin by a resolution to reform, strengthened by 
the most solemn vows. 

2. Resolve to reform now ; not to-morrow or next 
week, but this very minute. Thousands have sunk to 
perdition while resolving to indulge " only this once." 

3. Begin the work of reform by purging the mind. 
If a lewd thought enters the mind, dispel it at once. 
Cultivate a loathing for concupiscence. Never harbor 
such ideas for an instant ; for they will surely lead to 
the overt act. If, perchance, the physical sin should 
not be committed, the thought itself is sin, and it leaves 
a physical as well as a moral scar almost as deep and 
hideous as that inflicted by the grosser crime. 

4. As a help to purity of mind, whenever impure 
thoughts enter, immediately direct the mind upon the 
purest object with which you are acquainted. Flee from 
the special exciting cause, if there is one, and engage in 
some active labor or other exercise that will divert the 
mind into another channel. 

5. Avoid solitude; for then it is that temptation 
comes, and you are most likely to fail. Avoid, equally, 
all other causes which may lead to the act. 

6. Strictly comply with all the rules laid down for 


the cultivation of chastity and the maintenance of con- 

7. Above all, seek for grace and help from the 
Source of all spiritual strength in every time of tempta- 
tion, relying upon the promise, " Seek, and ye shall 

Hopeful Courage. — An individual who will earnestly 
set himself about the work of purifying his mind and 
redeeming his body, if he will conscientiously adopt, and 
perseveringly apply, the remedies pointed out, may be 
sure of success. There can be no possible chance for 
failure. Triumph is certain. Patience may be tried 
and faith tested, but unwavering trust in Grod and 
nature, and an executed determination to do all on his 
part, will bring to every such one certain recovery. 
There may be some scars left, a few traces of the injury 
wrought; but the deliverance will be none the less 
triumphant. Faith and perseverance will work wonders. 

General Regimen and Treatment.— After long 
abuse of the sexual organs, and in many cases after a 
short course of sin, the whole system becomes deterio- 
rated ; digestion is impaired ; the muscles are weakened ; 
the circulation is unbalanced ; the nerves are irritable, 
the brain — especially the back and lower portion of it — 
is congested ; the skin is torpid ; the bowels are inact- 
ive; and the general health is deranged in almost every 
particular. All these morbid conditions serve to keep 
up the very difficulty which has produced and is in- 
creasing them. Any curative effort, then, to be effective, 
must be directed to these as well as to local conditions ; 
and it is pretty certainly established that local remedies 
or applications alone will rarely accomplish any apprecia- 
ble good, at least of a permanent character. 


Mental and Moral Treatment.— The greatest imped- 
iment to recovery is usually found in the mind of the 
patient. His hopeless despair, melancholy, sullen apathy 
in many cases, want of energy, and fickleness of mind 
thwart all attempts that are made for him. In other 
cases, the want of will-power, or neglect to exercise the 
will in controlling the thoughts, completely counteracts 
all that can be done for him. He must be made to un- 
derstand this well, and then all possible means must be 
employed to attract his attention from himself, from 
brooding over his ills. Occupy him, interest him, or 
teach him to occupy and interest himself. The enthusi- 
astic study of some one of the natural sciences is a most 
excellent auxiliary in effecting this. 

The thing of first importance is that the patient 
should obtain command of his thoughts ; by this means 
he can do more for himself than all others can do for 
him. " But I cannot control my thoughts," says the pa- 
tient. A young man said to me, " doctor, you do n't 
know how I feel. I despise myself; I hate myself; I 
often feel inclined to kill myself. My mind is always 
full of abominable images ; my thoughts run away with 
me, and I cannot help myself." The tears ran down 
his face in streams as he told of his slavery. He sol- 
emnly affirmed that he had never performed the act of 
self-pollution but once in his life ; and yet for years he 
had been a constant sufferer from nocturnal emissions 
until his manhood was nearly lost, evidently the result 
of the mental Onanism which he had practiced without 
imagining the possibility of harm. 

Control of the Thoughts, — But it is not true that 
control of the thoughts is impossible. Thoughts are the 


result of the action of the brain ; and the action of the 
brain may be controlled as well as the movements of a 
voluntary muscle. It may be more difficult, especially 
when the resolution is weakened, as it is by this vice ; 
but so long as there are left any remnants of will and 
reason, control is possible. To strengthen the will must 
be one of the objects of mental treatment, and exercise 
is the method by which it may be accomplished. The 
thing for a sufferer to say is not " I can't," but " I can 
and I will control my thoughts." Suggestions which 
will aid in accomplishing this have already been given 
under the heading, " Cure of the Habit." 

We cannot forbear to add a word further respecting 
the worth of religion in aiding these sufferers. If there 
is any living creature who needs the help of true relig- 
ion, of faith in God, in Christ, and in the efficacy of 
prayer, it is one of these. If there is any poor mortal 
who cannot afford to be deprived of the aid of a sympa- 
thizing Saviour, it is one who has enervated his will, de- 
graded his soul, and depraved his body by the vile habit 
of self-abuse. A compassionate Redeemer will succor 
even these defiled ones, if they truly "hunger and thirst" 
after purity, and if they set about the work of reforming 
themselves in good earnest, and with right motives. 

Exercise.— Physical exercise is a most powerful aid 
to pure thoughts. When unchaste ideas intrude, engage 
at once in something which will demand energetic mus- 
cular exercise. Pursue the effort until fatigued, if nec- 
essary, making all the while a powerful mental effort to 
control the mind. Of course, evil thoughts will not be 
expelled by thinking of them, but by displacing them by 
pure thoughts. Exercise aids this greatly. 


Exercise is also essential to balance the circulation^ 
and thus relieve congestion of internal organs. Seden- 
tary persons especially need systematic exercise. No 
single form of exercise is so excellent as walking. Four 
or five miles a day are none too many to secure a proper 
amount of muscular exercise. Gymnastics, the " health- 
lift/' " Indian clubs/' " dumb-bells," rowing, and other 
forms of exercise are all good ; but none of them should 
be carried to excess. Ball-playing is likely to be made a 
source of injury by exciting, in vigorous competition, too 
violent and spasmodic action. 

Daily exercise should be taken to the extent of fa- 
tigue. It is better that those who are still strong enough 
should have some regular employment which will secure 
exercise. Those who prefer may secure exercise and 
recreation in the pursuit of some study that involves 
necessary physical exertion ; as botany, geology, or en- 
tomology. The collection of natural-history specimens 
is one of the most pleasant diversions, and may be made 
very useful as well. 

Pleasant companionship is essential to the best prog- 
ress of these patients, especially in their walks, as much 
more exercise may be taken without an unpleasant sense 
of fatigue with a cheerful companion than when alone. 
Solitude should be avoided at all times as much as 

Diet, — So much has already been said upon the rela- 
tion of diet to chastity and its influence upon the sexual 
organs, that it is unnecessary to add many remarks here. 
Nothing could be more untrue than the statement made 
by some authors that the nature of the diet is of no con- 


The science of physiology teaches that our very 
thoughts are born of what we eat. A man that lives on 
pork, fine-flour bread, rich pies and cakes, and condi- 
ments, drinks tea and coffee, and uses tobacco, might as 
well try to fly as to be chaste in thought. He will 
accomplish wonders if he remains physically chaste ; 
but to be mentally virtuous would be impossible for him 
without a miracle of grace. 

One whose thoughts have been so long trained in the 
filthy ruts of vice that they run there automatically, and 
naturally gravitate downward, — such an one must exer- 
cise especial care to secure the most simple, pure, and 
unstimulating diet. 

The following precautions are necessary to be ob- 
served in relation to diet : — 

1. Never overeat. If too much food is taken at one 
meal, fast the next meal to give the system a chance to 
recover itself, and to serve as a barrier against future 
transgressions of the same kind. Gluttony is fatal to 
chastity ; and overeating will be certain to cause emis- 
sions, with other evils, in one whose organs are weak- 
ened by abuse. 

2. Eat but twice a day, or, if supper is eaten, let it 
be very light, and of the most simple food, as fruit, or 
fruit and bread. Nothing should be eaten within four or 
five hours of bed-time, and it is much better to eat noth- 
ing after three o'clock. The ancients ate but two meals 
a day ; why should moderns eat three or four ? If the 
stomach contains undigested food, the sleep will be dis- 
turbed, dreams will be more abundant, and emissions 
will be frequent. A most imperative rule of life should 
be, " Never go to bed with a loaded stomach." The vio- 


lation of this rule is the great cause of dreams and night- 

3. Discard all stimulating food. Under this head 
must be included spices, pepper, ginger, mustard, cinna- 
mon, cloves, essences, all condiments, pickles, etc., to- 
gether with flesh food in any but moderate quantities. 
It is hardly to be expected that all who have been accus- 
tomed to use these articles all their lives, will discard them 
wholly at once, nor, perhaps, that many will ever discard 
them entirely ; but it would be better for them to do so, 

4. Stimulating drinks should be abstained from with 
still greater strictness. Wine, beer, tea, and coffee should 
be taken under no circumstances. The influence of cof- 
fee in stimulating the genital organs is notorious. Choc- 
olate should be discarded also. It is recommended by 
some who suppose it to be harmless, being ignorant of 
the fact that it contains a poison practically identical 
with that of tea and coffee. 

Hot drinks of all kinds should be avoided. 
Tobacco, another stimulant, although not a drink, 
should be totally abandoned at once. 

5. In place of such articles as have been condemned, 
eat fruits, grains, milk, and vegetables. There is a rich 
variety of these kinds of food, and they are wholesome 
and unstimulating. Graham flour, oatmeal, and ripe 
fruit are the indispensables of a dietary for those who 
are suffering from sexual excesses. 

Further remarks upon diet, with a few useful recipes 
for preparing healthful food, will be found in works de- 

*See "Healthful Cookery," Health Publishing Company, Battle 
Creek, Mich. 


voted to the subject of diet.* The patient must care- 
fully comply with all the rules of a healthy diet if he 
would be sure of recovery. 

Sleeping, — It is from emissions which happen during 
sleep that the great majority of sufferers complain; 
hence there is no little importance attaching to this sub- 
ject. The following suggestions present in a very brief 
manner some of the more practical ideas connected with 
this part of the subject : — 

1. From seven to nine hours sleep are required by 
all persons. The rule should be, Retire early, and sleep 
until rested. Early rising is not beneficial unless it has 
been preceded by abundant sleep. 

2. Arise immediately upon waking in the morning, 
if it is after four o'clock. A second nap is generally un- 
refreshing, and is dangerous, for emissions most fre- 
quently occur at this time. 

3. If insufficient sleep is taken at night, sleep a few 
minutes just before dinner. Half an hour's rest at this 
time is remarkably refreshing ; and even fifteen minutes 
spent in sleep will be found very reviving. Do not sleep 
after dinner, as a pollution will be very likely to occur, 
and, as a rule, after-dinner naps are unrefreshing and 
productive of indigestion. 

4. Never go to bed with the bowels loaded. The 
bladder should be emptied just before retiring. It is 
also a good plan to form the habit of rising once or 
twice during the night to urinate. 

5. The position in sleeping is of some importance. 
Sleeping upon the back or upon the abdomen favors the 
occurrence of emissions ; hence it is preferable to sleep 
on the side. If supper has been taken, the right side is 


preferable, as that position will favor the passage of food 
from the stomach into the intestines in undergoing 

Various devices are employed, sometimes with ad- 
vantage, to prevent the patient from turning upon his 
back while asleep. The most simple is that recom- 
mended by Acton, and consists in tying a knot in the 
middle of a towel, and then fastening the towel about 
the body in such a way that the knot will come upon 
the small of the back. The unpleasant sensations aris- 
ing from pressure of the knot, if the sleeper turn upon 
his back, will often serve as a complete preventive. 
Others fasten a piece of wood upon the back for a sim- 
ilar purpose. Still others practice tying one hand to the 
bed-post. None of these remedies can be wholly de- 
pended upon, but they may be tried in connection with 
other means of treatment. 

6. Soft beds and pillows must be carefully avoided. 
Feather-beds should not be employed when possible to 
find a harder bed ; the floor, with a single folded blanket 
beneath the sleeper, would be preferable. Soft pillows 
heat the head, as soft beds produce heat in other parts. 
A hair mattress, or a bed of corn husks, oat straw, or 
excelsior — covered with two or three blankets or a 
quilted cotton mattress — makes a very healthy and com- 
fortable bed. 

7. Too many covers should be avoided with equal 
care. The thinnest possible covering in summer, and 
the lightest consistent with comfort in winter, should be 
the rule. Sleeping too warm is a frequent exciting 
cause of nocturnal losses. 

8. Thorough ventilation of the sleeping-room, both 



while occupied and during the day-time, must not be 
neglected. It should be located in a position to admit 
the sunshine during the morning hours. It is a good plan 
to keep in it a number of house plants, as they will help 
to purify the air, besides adding to its cheerfulness. 

9. If wakeful at night, instead of lying in bed try- 
ing to go to sleep, get up at once, open the bed, 
air the sheets, remove the night-clothing, and walk 
about the room for a few minutes, rubbing the body 
briskly with the bare hand at the same time. A tepid 
sponge bath, followed by a vigorous rubbing kept up 
until really tired, will conduce to sleep in many cases. 
Sometimes a change of bed, or pulling the bed to pieces 
and arranging it again, is just the thing needed to bring 

10. One of the most effectual panaceas for certain 
varieties of sleeplessness is going to bed at peace with 
all the world, and with a conscience void of offense 
toward God as well as man. 

Dreams, — This is a subject of much interest to those 
suffering from nocturnal pollutions, for these occurrences 
are almost always connected with dreams of a lascivious 

In perfectly natural sleep, there are no dreams ; 
consciousness is entirely suspended. In the ordinary 
stage of dreaming, there is a peculiar sort of conscious- 
ness, many of the faculties of the mind being more or 
less active, while the power of volition is wholly dor- 
mant. Carpenter describes another stage of con- 
sciousness between that of ordinary dreaming and 
wakefulness, a condition " in which a dreamer has a 
consciousness that he is dreaming, being aware of the 


unreliability of the images which present themselves 
before the mind. He may even make a voluntary and 
successful effort to prolong them if agreeable, or to dis- 
sipate them if unpleasing, thus evincing a certain 
degree of that directing power, the entire want of which 
is characteristic of the true state of dreams." 

Can Dreams be Controlled ?— Facts prove that they 
can be, and to a remarkable extent. Emissions most 
frequently occur in the state described by Dr. Carpenter, 
in which a certain amount of control by the will is 
possible. This is the usual condition of the mind during 
morning naps ; and if a person resolutely determines to 
combat unchaste thoughts whenever they come to him, 
whether asleep or awake, he will find it possible to 
control himself, not only during this semi-conscious 
state, but even during more profound sleep. 

The following case related by an eminent London 
surgeon, * illustrates what may be done by strong 
resolution ; the patient was an Italian gentleman of very 
great respectability. 

" He had been inconvenienced five years before with 
frequent emissions, which totally unnerved him. He 
determined resolutely that the very instant the image of 
a woman or any libidinous idea presented itself to his 
imagination, he would ivake ; and to insure his doing so, 
dwelt in his thoughts on his resolution for a long time 
before going to sleep. The remedy, applied by a vigor- 
ous will, had the most happy results. The idea, the 
remembrance of its being a danger, and the determination 
to wake, closely united the evening before, were never 
dissociated, even in sleep, and he awoke in time ; and 

* Acton. 


this reiterated precaution, repeated during some even- 
ings, absolutely cured the complaint." 

Several other cases of the same kind have been re- 
corded. Doubtless the plan would be found successful 
in many cases when coupled with a proper regimen. 

A still greater control is exerted over the thoughts 
during sleep by their character during hours of wakeful- 
ness. By controlling the mind during entire conscious- 
ness, it will also be controlled during unconsciousness 
or semi-consciousness. 

Dr. Acton makes the following very appropriate re- 
marks upon this subject : — 

" Patients will tell you that they cannot control their 
dreams. This is not true. Those who have studied 
the connection between thoughts during waking hours 
and dreams during sleep, know that they are closely 
connected. The character is the same sleeping or wak- 
ing. It is not surprising that, if a man has allowed his 
thoughts during the day to rest upon libidinous subjects, 
he should find his mind at night full of lascivious dreams ; 
the one is a consequence of the other, and the nocturnal 
pollution is a natural consequence, particularly when 
diurnal indulgence has produced an irritability of the 
generative organs. A will which in our waking hours 
we have not exercised in repressing sexual desire, will 
not, when we fall asleep, preserve us from carrying the 
sleeping echo of our waking thought farther than we 
dared to do in the day-time." 

Bathing, — A daily bath is indispensable to health 
under all circumstances ; for patients of this class, it is es- 
pecially necessary. A general bath should be taken every 
morning immediately upon rising. General cold "bathing 'is 


not good for any person, especially in the morning, though 
some may tolerate it remarkably well, being of excep- 
tionally hardy constitutions ; but the advice to try 
*" cold bathing," often given to sufferers from seminal 
weakness, is very pernicious ; for most of them have 
oeen reduced so low in vitality by their disease that 
they cannot endure such violent treatment. 

Cool bathing is, however, to be recommended. The 
temperature of the water employed should be fifteen or 
twenty degrees below that of the body. The administra- 
tion of water in the form of a hand or sponge bath in the 
morning on arising is an excellent tonic. The saline 
sponge bath, employing a tablespoonful of salt to the 
quart of water, is somewhat more stimulating than tb.e 
ordinary water bath. 

Sun baths, electric baths, spray, plunge, and other 
forms of bath are of greatest value to those suffering 
from the effects of indiscretions. These are described, 
with additional observations concerning the temperature 
of baths, etc., in works devoted to this subject. 

Improvement of General Health, — Patients suffer- 
ing from emissions and other forms of seminal weakness 
are almost always dyspeptic, and most of them present 
other constitutional affections which require careful and 
thorough treatment according to the particular indica- 
tions of the case. The wise physician will not neglect 
these if he desires to cure his patient, and make his re- 
covery as complete as possible. 

Prostitution as a Remedy,— Said a leading physi- 
cian in New York to us, when interrogated as to his spe- 
cial treatment of spermatorrhoea, " When a young man 
comes to me suffering from nocturnal emissions, I give 


him tonics and send him to a woman" That this is not an 
unusual method of treatment, even among regular physi- 
cians, is a fact as true as it is deplorable. There are 
hundreds of young men whose morals have been ruined 
by such advice. Having been educated to virtuous hab- 
its, at least so far as illicit intercourse is concerned, they 
resist all temptations in this direction, even though their 
inclinations are very strong ; but when advised by a 
physician to commit fornication as a remedial measure, 
they yield their virtue, far too readily sometimes, and 
begin a life of sin from which they might have been 
prevented. There are good grounds for believing that 
many young men purposely seek advice from physicians 
who they know are in the habit of prescribing this 
kind of a remedy. 

Few know how commonly this course is recom- 
mended, and not by quacks, but by members of the reg- 
ular profession. A friend informed the writer that he 
knew a case in which a country physician advised a 
young man of continent habits to go to a neighboring 
large city, and spend a year or so with prostitutes, which 
advice he followed. Of his subsequent history we know 
nothing ; but it is very probable that, like most other 
young men who adopt this remedy, he soon contracted 
diseases which rendered his condition ten times worse 
than at first, without at all improving his former state. 
In pursuing this course, one form of emission is only 
substituted for another, at the best ; but more than this, 
an involuntary result of disease is converted into a vol- 
untary sin of the blackest character, a crime in which 
two participate, and which is not only an outrage upon 
nature, but against morality as well. 


A final argument against this course is that it is not 
a remedy, and does not effect a cure of the evil, as will 
be shown by the following medical testimonies : — 

" The vexed question of connection is one which may 
be decided out of hand. ... It has nopozver of curing bad 
spermatorrhoea ; it may cause a diminution in the num- 
ber of emissions, but this is only a delusion ; the semen 
is still thrown off; the frame still continues to be ex- 
hausted; the genital organs and nervous system gener- 
ally are still harassed by the incessant tax ; and the pa 
tient is all the while laying the foundation of impo- 
tence." * 

" In all solemn earnestness I protest against such 
false treatment. It is better for a youth to live a conti- 
nent life." " There is a terrible significance in the wise 
man's words, ' None that go to her return again, neither 
take they hold of the path of life.' " f This hazardous 
and immoral mode of treatment is the result of the com- 
mon opinion that emissions are necessary and natural , 
which we have previously shown to be false. 

Marriage. — Another class of practitioners, with more 
apparent regard for morality, recommend matrimony as 
a sure panacea for all the ills of which the sufferers 
from self-abuse complain, with the possible exception of 
actual impotence. Against this course, several objections 
may be urged ; we offer the following : — 

1. It is not a remedy, since, as in the case of illicit 
intercourse, " legalized prostitution " is only a substitu- 
tion of one form of emission for another, the ill effects 
of which do not differ appreciably. 

2. If it were a remedy, it would not be a justifiable 

* Milton. f Acton. 


one, for its use would necessitate an abuse of the mar- 
riage relation, as elsewhere shown. 

3. As another reason why the remedy would not be 
a proper, even if a good one, it may well be asked, What 
right has a man to treat a wife as a vial of medicine ? 
Well does Mr. Acton inquire, " What has the. young girl, 
who is thus sacrificed to an egotistical calculation, done 
that she should be condemned to the existence that 
awaits her ? Who has the right to regard her as a ther- 
apeutic agent, and to risk thus lightly her future pros- 
pects, her repose, and the happiness of the remainder of 
her life?" 

In cases in which seminal emissions occur frequently, 
the most reliable writers upon this subject — Copland, Ac- 
ton, Milton, and others — advise, with reference to mar- 
riage, " that the complaint should be removed before the 
married life is commenced." Independent of the con- 
siderations already presented, the individual affected 
in this manner and contemplating marriage, should care- 
fully consider the possible and probable effects upon 
offspring, the legitimate result of marriage ; these have 
been already described, and need not be recapitulated. 

Local Treatment. — While it is true that general 
treatment alone is occasionally successful in curing the 
diseases under consideration, and that local treatment 
alone is very rarely efficient, it is also true that in many 
cases skillful local treatment. is required to supplement 
the general remedies employed. While there has been 
a tendency on the part of the profession generally to de- 
pend wholly upon general treatment, or the part of a 
less numerous body of specialists there has been an op- 
posite tendency, to depend wholly, or nearly so, upon 
local measures. Both extremes are evidently wrong. 


The object of local treatment for the relief of emis- 
sions, especially, is to remove the local cause of irrita- 
tion, which, as previously shown, is one of the most act- 
ive exciting causes of seminal losses. To effect this, 
both internal and external applications are useful. We 
will now consider some of these agents. 

The Warm Sitz Bath. — The warm sitz bath is one 
of the most efficacious of all remedies. It should be 
taken daily, and may sometimes be repeated, with bene- 
fit, several times a day. Its effect is to relieve the local 
congestion, and thus allay the irritability of the affected 
parts. When but one bath is taken daily, it should be 
just before retiring at night. 

In taking a sitz bath, a common wash-tub may be 
employed. The temperature of the water should be 
from 90° to 95°. A foot bath should be taken at the 
same time, with the water a few degrees warmer. The 
bath should last fifteen or twenty minutes. At the close 
of it, water should be dashed quickly over the whole 
body with the hand, after which the patient should rub 
himself vigorously with a dry towel. 

The Ascending Douche.— This is also a very useful 
means of allaying irritation, especially the reflex excita- 
bility which is often present in the muscles in the vicin- 
ity of the perineum and prostate gland and when there 
is pain and fullness in these parts. 

Sponging of the perineum and adjacent parts may be 
employed in place of the douche. The temperature of 
the bath should be 110° or 115° when there is soreness 
or irritability of the parts. In advanced cases of the 
disease, in which internal emissions occur, and in cases 
of impotence, cool water may be employed. 


The Abdominal Bandage,— This may be worn nights 
to very great advantage by most patients. It not only 
allays the irritability of the nerve centers which are 
closely connected with the genital apparatus, but serves 
to keep the bowels in a healthy condition. It should 
not be applied so continuously as to produce a very pro- 
fuse eruption on the skin. If such a symptom should 
appear, discontinue the bandage for a time. When 
worn during the day-time, it should be changed once 
in three or four hours. It is generally best to wear it 
only nights. 

The Wet Compress, — This is an application to be 
made to the lower part of the spine for the purpose of 
allaying the excessive heat and irritation which often 
exist there. It may also be worn nights, as it in some 
degree prevents the danger arising from sleeping upon 
the back. 

Hot and Cold Applications to the Spine.— These 
are powerful remedies under appropriate conditions. 
Hot applications relieve congestions of the genital or- 
gans, and allay irritation. Cold applications are useful 
when a condition of debility and relaxation is present. 
Alternate applications of heat and cold are very valua- 
ble, when skillfully applied, as a means of allaying reflex 
excitability and promoting healthy action. These ap- 
plications are especially useful in cases in which there 
is heat and pain in the lower portion of the back. Their 
effects are greatly enhanced by administering a foot or 
leg bath at the same time. 

Local Fomentations. — When great local irritation 
exists, with considerable pain and spasmodic muscular 
action, the application of hot fomentations to the peri- 


ileum will be found the most effectual means of giving 
relief. The hot douche and hot sitz bath are useful 
under the same circumstances. 

In some cases, alternate hot and cold applications 
are more effectual in allaying local irritation than hot 
fomentations alone. 

Local Cold Bathing. — The genital organs should be 
daily bathed in cold water just before retiring. Simply 
dashing water upon the parts for two or three minutes 
is insufficient ; more prolonged bathing is necessary. A 
short application of cold occasions a strong and sudden 
reaction, which increases local congestion ; hence the 
bath should be continued until the sedative effect is fully 
produced, which will require at least fifteen minutes. 
The water must be cold ; about 60° is the best tem- 
perature. Ice should be used to cool the water in 
warm weather. It should be applied thoroughly, being 
squeezed from a sponge upon the lower part of the 
abdomen, and allowed to run down. 

The Enema. — The use of the enema is an important 
means of aiding recovery ; but it has been much abused, 
and must be employed with caution. When the bowels 
are very costive, relieve them before retiring by a copious 
injection of tepid water. The " fountain " or " syphon " 
gyring is the best instrument to employ. 

Useful as is the syringe when needed, nothing could 
be much worse than becoming dependent upon it. The 
bowels must be made to act for themselves without such 
artificial assistance, by the use of proper food, especially 
graham flour and oatmeal, and the avoidance of hot 
drinks, milk, sugar, and other clogging and constipating 
articles ; by wearing the abdominal bandage ; by thor- 


ough kneading and percussion of the abdomen several 
times daily for five minutes at a time ; by taking one or 
two glasses of cold water half an hour before breakfast 
every morning; and by plenty of muscular exercise 
daily. The enema should be used occasionally, however, 
rather than allow the bowels to continue costive, and to 
avoid severe straining at stool. 

A small, cold enema taken just before retiring, and 
retained, will often do much to allay local irritation. 

Electricity. — Probably no single agent will accom- 
plish more than this remedy when skillfully applied. 
It needs to be carefully used, and cannot be trusted in 
the hands of those not acquainted with the physical 
properties of the remedy and scientific methods of apply- 
ing it. 

Internal Applications. — Complete and rapid success 
greatly depends upon skillful internal treatment, in a 
large number of cases. We are aware that there is con- 
siderable prejudice, in certain quarters, against internal 
treatment ; but having had the opportunity of observing 
the effects of careful treatment applied in this way, and 
having put to the test of practical experience this method, 
we feel justified in recommending that which is approved 
on both theoretical and practical grounds ; for it is ra- 
tional to suppose that proper treatment, applied di- 
rectly to the seat of disease, must be at least equally 
efficacious with methods less direct. 

As heretofore explained, in the more severe cases 
the urethra is found in a very irritable condition. It is 
hyper-sensitive, especially in that portion just in front 
of the bladder, where the ejaculatory ducts open into it. 
We have also seen how this condition is one of the chief 


exciting causes of emissions. The remedies described 
for allaying this irritation are all excellent and indispen- 
sable; but there is another method of great value. This 
consists in the passage of a suitable instrument, a sound 
or bougie of proper size, two or three times a week. 
By the aid of this means, the abnormal irritation will 
often diminish with magical rapidity. The passage of 
the instrument, of course, needs to be done with great 
delicacy, so as to avoid increasing the irritation ; hence 
it should not be attempted by a novice. Lack of skill 
in catheterism is doubtless the reason why some have 
seemed to produce injury rather than benefit by this 
method of treatment. 

Use of Electricity. — The use of electricity in con- 
nection with that of the sound, adds greatly to its utility. 
By means of the metallic instrument, also, electricity 
may be applied directly to the point of greatest irrita- 
tion ; and its soothing effect is sometimes really wonder- 
ful, as the following case will show : — 

The patient, a man of unusual physical development, 
was suffering from nocturnal emissions and diminished 
sexual power, the result of early indiscretions and 
marital excesses. One of his most unpleasant symp- 
toms was severe pain in the portion of the urethra near 
the openings of the ejaculatory ducts. After he had 
been suffering more than usual for a few days, we ap- 
plied the faradic electric current in the manner indicated 
above, for about fifteen minutes. At the end of that 
time the pain was entirely removed, though considerable 
suffering had been caused by the passage of the instru- 
ment, so sensitive was the congested membrane. The 
pain did not return again for two or three weeks, though 


treatment was necessarily suspended on account of 

In another case, that of a young man, a student, at 
the beginning of treatment emissions occurred nightly, and 
sometimes as many as four in a single night, according to 
his statement, which we had no reason to doubt. Under 
the influence of these local applications, combined 
with other measures of treatment and a measurably cor- 
rect regimen, the number of emissions was in a few 
weeks reduced to one in two or three weeks. 

Numerous other cases nearly as remarkable might 
be detailed if it were necessary to do so. A very 
Blight increase of irritation sometimes occurs at first, 
but this quickly subsides. 

The galvanic as well as the faradic current is to be 
used under proper circumstances. The application of 
electricity to the nerve centers by means of central 
galvanization, and also general and local external faradi- 
zation, are necessary methods to be employed in electri- 
cal treatment. 

Circumcision, — In cases of phimosis, in which irrita- 
tion is produced by retained secretions, division of the 
prepuce, or circumcision, is the proper remedy. These 
cases are not infrequent, but the exciting cause of much 
of the difficulty is often overlooked. The same remedy 
is often useful in cases of long prepuce. 

When the glans penis is unusually tender and sensitive, 
this condition will generally be removed by the daily 
washing with soap and water necessary for cleanliness. 
If this does not suffice, or if there are slight excoriations 
caused by acid secretions, apply, in addition, a weak 
solution of tannin in glycerine once a day. 


Impotence, — Loss of sexual power arising from any 
form of sexual excess, should be treated on the same 
general plan laid down for the treatment of emissions 
and other weaknesses. Heat to the spine, and short, 
but frequent, local cold applications, are among the most 
useful remedies ; but probably electricity, discreetly 
used, is by far the most valuable of all remedies. It 
should be applied both internally and externally. 

The use of cantharides and other aphrodisiac reme- 
dies to stimulate the sexual organs is a most pernicious 
practice. The inevitable result is still greater weakness. 
They should never be used. On the contrary, every- 
thing of a stimulating character must be carefully 
avoided, even in diet. 

Varicocele. — Patients suffering from this difficulty 
should wear a proper suspensory bag, as the continued 
pressure of the distended veins upon the testes, if un- 
supported, will ultimately cause degenerative changes 
and atrophy. In cases of varicocele in which the dis- 
order is attended by pain, or marked degeneration of 
one or both testicles, or in which the disorder is an 
evident aggravation of nocturnal losses, an operation is 
usually required to effect a cure, though a proper sus- 
pensory bandage will often afford relief, if constantly 
worn. The operation for varicocele, when properly 
performed, is free from danger, and is effective in afford- 
ing relief in this disorder. The author has found great 
satisfaction in the employment of antiseptic ligation of 
the veins, coupled in bad cases, by removal of the re- 
dundant portion of scrotal tissue. This mode of opera- 
tion has always been attended by most excellent results. 
The wearing of a suspensory bag is also advisable 
for those whose testicles are unusually pendulous. 


Treatment of the Disease in Women,— The treat- 
ment of the results of self-abuse in woman is a very- 
much more complicated aifair than it is in man, owing to 
the greater variety of local disorders induced thereby. 
The various forms of displacement require special meth- 
ods of treatment, many of which cannot be readily un- 
dertaken at home. Many of the measures suggested for 
the treatment of males are, however, entirely applicable 
to this class of cases in women, and may be employed to 
very great advantage and with most excellent results^ 
The sitz bath, hot sponging of the spine, hot and cold 
applications to the spine, and the saline sponge bath are 
all very useful measures. 

Most important of all, however, is the vaginal douche. 
This method of treatment consists in the injection into 
the vagina by some form of syringe, particularly the 
fountain or syphon syringe, of hot water. The temper- 
ature should be 110° or 120°. In the employment of 
vaginal injections, too small a quantity is usually made 
use of. From three to five gallons should be used daily, 
and as a rule, the temperature should be as hot as can 
be borne without discomfort. We know of no single 
method of treatment which is able to accomplish so much 
in these cases as the hot vaginal douche. It should be 
uniformly employed, and may be continued several 
months with advantage. It should be used as long as 
the leucorrhceal discharge is present, this being a symp- 
tom of local congestion, and one which is more readily 
relieved by this means than any other. 

The addition of a little alum or some other form of 
astringent to the last portion of water employed, is in 
many cases advantageous. Alum or tannin may be used 
in proportion of one dram to the quart of water. 


In cases of sexual apathy, or loss of ability to engage 
in the sexual act, the application of faradic electricity to 
the vagina by means of a proper electrode is of very 
great advantage. One electrode should be the 
vagina, while the other, connected with the sponge, is 
passed over the lower portion of the spine, across the 
the lower part of the abdomen, and along the inside of 
the thighs. 

For directions for further treatment of these and 
like derangements, the reader is referred to other works 
by the author, in which the subject is fully treated. 

Drugs, Rings, etc. — If drugs, per se, will cure invalids 
of any class, they are certainly not satisfactory in this 
class of patients. The whole materia medica affords no 
root, herb, extract, or compound that alone will cure a 
person suffering from emissions. Thousands of unfortu- 
nates have been ruined by long-continued drugging. One 
physician will purge and salivate the patient. Another 
will dose him with phosphorus, quinine, or ergot. An- 
other feeds him with iron. Another plies him with 
lupuline, camphor, and digitaline. Still another narco- 
tizes him with opium, belladonna, and chloral. Purga- 
tives and diuretics are given by another, and some will 
be found ready to empty the whole pharmacopoeia into 
the poor sufferer's stomach if he can be made to open 
his mouth wide enough. 

The way some of these unfortunate persons are blis- 
tered, and burned, and cauterized, and tortured in sundry 
other ways, is almost too horrible to think of; yet they 
endure it, often willingly, thinking it but just punishment 
for their sins, and perhaps hoping to expiate them by 
this cruel penance. By these procedures, the emissions 



are sometimes temporarily checked ; but the patient is 
not cured, nevertheless, and the malady soon returns. 

The employment of rings, pessaries, and numerous 
other mechanical devices for preventing emissions, is en- 
tirely futile. No dependence can be placed upon them. 
Some of these contrivances are very ingenious, but they 
are all worthless, and time and money spent upon them 
are thrown away. 

Quacks. — The victims of self-abuse fall an easy prey 
to the hordes of harpies, fiends in human shape, who are 
ready at every turn to make capital out of their misfort- 
unes. From no class of persons do quacks and charla- 
tans derive so rich a harvest as from these erring ones. 
It is not uncommon to find a man suffering from seminal 
weakness who has paid to sundry parties hundreds of 
dollars for " specifics " which they advertised as " sure 
cures." We have seen and treated scores of these pa- 
tients, but never yet met a single case that had received 
permanent benefit from patent medicines. 

The newspapers are full of the advertisements of 
these heartless villains. They advertise under the guise 
of " clergymen," charitable institutions, " cured invalids," 
and similar pretenses. Usually they offer for sale some 
pill or mixture which will be a sure cure, in proof of 
which they cite the testimonials of numerous individuals 
who never lived, or, at least, never saw either them or 
their filthy compounds ; or they promise to send free a 
recipe which will be a certain cure. Here is a specimen 
recipe which was sent by a " reverend " gentleman, who 
claims to be a returned missionary from South America, 
and who is so intent on doing good that he charges noth- 
ing for his invaluable information : — 


Extract of Corrossa apimis, 

" " Selarmo umbelifera, 
Powdered Alkermes latifolia, 
Extract of Carsadoc herbalis. 

This remarkable recipe is warranted to cure all the 
evils arising from self-abuse without any attention to 
diet or inconvenience of any kind, to prevent consump- 
tion and insanity, and to cure venereal diseases. It is 
also declared to be a perfectly " safe " remedy for all 
female difficulties, which means that it will aid nefarious 

Along with the recipe comes the suggestion that the 
druggist may not be able to furnish all the ingredients 
in a perfectly pure state, and so, for the accommodation 
of suffering humanity, this noble philanthropist has taken 
infinite pains to secure them direct from South America, 
and has put them up in neat little packages which he 
will send, post-paid, for the trifle of $3.50, just one cent 
less than actual cost. Then he tells what purports to be 
the history of his own nastiness, with a generous spicing 
of pious cant, and closes with a benediction on all who 
have fallen into the same slough, and especially those 
who will send for his fabulous foreign weeds to help 
them out.* 

A young man sees the advertisement of a book which 
will be sent free, postage paid, if he will only send his 
address. The title of the book being of some such char- 
acter as " Manhood Regained" or " Nervous Debility/' 
he imagines it may suit his case, and sends his name, 

* Since the above was written, this notorious quack has died, worth 
half a million dollars, gained by his deceitful practices, and the public 
have learned that the name under which he advertized was a ficticious 
one, and that he was neither a clergyman nor a missionary, as claimed. 


Return mail brings the book, which is a wretched jargon 
of confusing terms and appalling descriptions of the effects 
of self-abuse, with the most shameful exaggerations of 
the significance of the most trivial symptoms. The ig- 
norant youth reads what he supposes to be a description 
of his own case, and is frightened nearly to death. He 
is most happily relieved, however, to find that the gen- 
erous publishers of the book have a remedy which is just 
adapted to his case, but which is so precious that it can- 
not be afforded at less than $50.00 for a sufficient quan- 
tity to effect a cure. He willingly parts with his hard- 
earned dollars, and gets, in return, some filthy mixture 
that did not cost a shilling. 

Another trap set is called an " Anatomical Museum. " 
The anatomical part of the exhibition consists chiefly of 
models and figures calculated to excite the passions to 
the highest pitch. At stated intervals the proprietor, 
who is always a " doctor," and by preference a German, 
delivers lectures on the effects of masturbation in which 
he. resorts to every device to excite the fears and exag- 
gerate the symptoms of his hearers, who are mostly 
young men and boys. Thus he prepares his victim, and 
when he once gets him within his clutches, he does not 
let him go until he has robbed him of his last dollar. 

We might present almost any number of illustrations 
of the ways in which these human sharks pursue their 
villainy. If there were a dungeon deep, dark, and dis- 
mal enough for the punishment of such rascals, we should 
feel strongly inclined to petition to have them incarcer- 
ated in it. They defy all laws, civil as well as moral, 
and are cunning enough to keep outside of prison bars ; 
and thus they wax rich by robbery, and thrive by de- 


ceit. A terrible recompense awaits them at the final 
settlement, though they escape so easily now. 

Closing Advice, — We cannot finish this chapter 
without a few closing words of advice to those who are 
suffering in any way from the results of sexual trans- 
gression. We are especially anxious to call attention 
to a few points of practical and vital interest to all who 
are suffering in the manner indicated. 

1. Give the matter prompt attention. Do not delay 
to adopt curative measures under the delusive idea that 
the difficulty will disappear of itself. Thousands have 
procrastinated in this way until their constitutions have 
been so hopelessly undermined as to make treatment of 
little value. The intrinsic tendency of this disease is to 
continue to increase. It progresses only in one direc- 
tion. It never "gets well of itself," as some have 
imagined that it may do. Something must be done to 
effect a cure ; and the longer treatment is delayed, the 
more difficult the case will become. 

2. Begin the work of getting well with a fixed deter- 
mination to persevere, and never to give over the strug- 
gle until success is attained, no matter how difficult may 
be the obstacles to be surmounted. Such an effort will 
rarely be unsuccessful. One of the greatest impediments 
to recovery from diseases of this class is the vacillating 
disposition of nearly all patients suffering from disor- 
ders of this character. Make up your mind what course 
of treatment to pursue, then adhere to it rigidly until it 
has received a thorough trial. Do not despair if no very 
marked results are seen in a week, a month, or even a 
longer period. The best remedies are among those which 
operate the most slowly. 


3. Avoid watching for symptoms. Ills are greatly 
exaggerated by dwelling upon them. One can easily 
imagine himself getting worse when he is really getting 
better. Indeed, one can make himself sick by dwell- 
ing upon insignificant symptoms. Fix upon a course to 
pursue for recovery, firmly resolve to comply with every 
requirement, necessary to insure success, and then let 
the mind be entirely at rest respecting the result. 

4. Never consult a quack. The newspapers abound 
in lying advertisements of remedies for diseases of 
this character. Do not waste time and money in cor- 
responding with the ignorant, unprincipled charlatans 
who make such false pretensions. Do not consult trav- 
eling doctors. Physicians of real merit have plenty of 
business at home. They are not obliged to go abroad in 
order to secure practice ; persons who resort to this 
course are, without exception, pretentious quacks. Con- 
sult only some well-known and reliable physician in 
whom you have confidence. If your physician treats 
the matter lightly, and advises marriage as a means of 
cure, you will not judge him harshly if you decide that 
although he may be thoroughly competent to treat 
other diseases, he is ignorant of the nature and proper 
treatment of this. It is an unfortunate fact that there 
are many physicians who are not thoroughly acquainted 
with the nature of spermatorrhoea and the proper mode 
of treating the disease ; hence the importance of making 
a judicious selection in choosing a medical adviser. It 
is far better to consult your family physician than to 
trust yourself in the hands of some one whom you do 
not know, and especially one who makes great preten- 
sions to knowledge. 


5. Do not despair of ever recovering from the effects 
of past transgression, and plunge into greater depths of 
sin. Persevering, skillful treatment will cure almost 
every case. Even the worst cases can be greatly bene- 
fited if the earnest co-operation of the patient can be 
secured. This is indispensable, and the patient should 
be so instructed at the outset of a course of treatment. 

6. Every sufferer from sexual disease must make up 
his mind to live, during the remainder of his life, as 
closely in accordance with the laws of life and health as cir- 
cumstances under his control will allow him to do. One 
who pursues this course, with a genuine regard for 
principle and a love for right, may confidently expect to 
receive the reward of obedience for his faithfulness. 
We would recommend such to obtain and study the 
best works upon hygiene, put in practice every new 
truth as soon as learned, and become missionaries of the 
saving truths of hygiene to others who are suffering from 
the same cause as themselves, or who may be in danger 
of falling into the same evil. 

A Chapter for Boys, 

OYS, this chapter is for you. It is written and 
printed expressly for you. The author does not 

v care very much if a single page is not read by 
grown men, but is very solicitous that every boy 
shall read each line thoughtfully and carefully, weighing 
well the facts presented, and the words of warning offered. 
You may find nothing to laugh at, nothing pleasing ; but 
you will find something to think about, something worth 
pondering and remembering. 

Genuine Boys. — Real boys are scarce now-a-days. 
In the days of Methuselah, male human beings were 
still boys when nearly a century old ; twenty-five years 
ago, boys were still such until well out of their " teens ; " 
now, the interval between infancy and the age at which 
the boy becomes a young man is so brief that boyhood 
is almost a thing of the past. The happy period of care- 
free, joyous innocence Avhich formerly intervened be- 
tween childhood and early manhood is now almost unob- 
servable. Boys grow old too fast. They learn to 
imitate the vices and the manners of their seniors before 
they reach their teens, and are impatient to be counted 
as men, no matter how great may be their deficiencies, 
their unfitness for the important duties and responsibili- 
ties of life. The consequence of this inordinate haste 
and impatience to be old, is premature decay. Unfortu- 



nately, the general tendency of the boys of the rising 
generation is to copy the vices of their elders, rather than 
the virtues of true manliness. A strong evidence of 
this fact, if there were no other, is the unnaturally old- 
looking faces which so many of our boys present. At 
the present time the average boy of twelve knows more 
of vice and sin than the youth of twenty of the past 

Human Mushrooms, — It is not so much for these 
human mushrooms, which may be not inaptly compared 
to toadstools which grow up in a single night and almost 
as speedily decay, that we write, but for the old-fashioned 
boys, the few such there may be ; those who have not 
yet learned to love sin ; those whose minds are still pure 
and uncontaminated ; those who are not ashamed to be 
counted as boys, who are an ornament to boyhood, and 
a delight to their parents. Those who have already 
begun a course of vice and wickedness, we have little 
hope of reforming; but we are anxious to offer a few 
words of counsel and warning which may possibly help 
to save as brands plucked from a blazing fire, those 
whose moral sense is yet alive, who have quick and ten- 
der consciences, who aspire to be truly noble and good. 
We trust, however, that a few who may have already . 
entered upon a course of sin, will heed the warnings 
given, and reform before they have been wholly ruined 
by the terrible consequences of vice. 

"What are Boys for?" — This question was answered 
with exact truthfulness by a little boy, who, when con- 
temptuously accosted by a man with the remark, " What 
are you good for ? " replied, " Men are made of such as 
we." Boys are the beginnings of men. They sustain 


the same relation to men that a small shrub does to a 
full-grown tree. They are still more like the small 
green apples which first appear when the blossoms drop 
from the branches, compared with the ripe, luscious fruit 
which in autumn bends the heavy-laden boughs almost 
to breaking. Often, like the young apples, boys are 
green ; but this is only natural, and should be consid- 
ered no disgrace to them. If they grow up naturally, 
they will ripen with age, like the fruit, developing at 
each successive stage of life additional attractions and 
estimable qualities. 

Boys the Hope of the World.— The world's most 
valuable property is its boys. A nation which has poor, 
weakly, vicious boys, will have still weaker, more vi- 
cious and untrustworthy men. A country with noble, 
virtuous, vigorous boys, is equally sure of having noble, 
pious, brave, and energetic men. Whatever debases, 
contaminates, or in any way injures the boys of a coun- 
try, saps and undermines the very foundation of the na- 
tion's strength and greatness. Save the boys from vice 
and crime, give them good training, physically, mentally,, 
and morally, and the prosperity of the nation is assured. 

Man, the Masterpiece.— When a skillful artist per- 
fects a work of art, a painting, a drawing, a statue, or 
some other work requiring great talent and exceeding 
all his other efforts, it is called his masterpiece. So 
man is the noblest work of God, the masterpiece of the 
Almighty. Numerous anecdotes are told of the sagacity 
of dogs, horses, elephants, and other animals, of their 
intelligence as shown in their ingenious devices for over- 
coming obstacles, avoiding difficulties, etc. Our admira- 
tion and wonder are often excited by the scarcely less 


than human wisdom shown by these lowly brothers of 
the human race. We call them noble animals ; but 
they are only noble brutes, at best. Compared with 
man, even in his most humble form, as seen in the wild 
savage that hunts and devours his prey like a wild beast, 
a lion or a tiger, they are immeasurably inferior. And 
in his highest development, man — civilized, cultivated, 
Christianized, learned, generous, pious — certainly stands 
at the head of all created things. 

Boys, do you love what is noble, what is pure, what 
is grand, what is good ? You may each, if you will, be- 
come such yourselves. Let us consider for a moment — 

How a Noble Character is Formed.— Every human 
being forms his own character. Various traits and char- 
acteristics may be inherited from parents ; but charac- 
ter is built up by one's own efforts, and is good or bad 
as we ourselves make it. As a modern philosopher has 
said, " Our thoughts and our conduct are our own." A 
noble character is formed by the development of good 
qualities, and the suppression of bad ones. Real im- 
provement is from within outward, and comes from an in- 
dividual's own efforts. A boy can form a noble, elevated, 
lovable character by cultivating good and pure thoughts, 
which will certainly actuate to only good and pure ac- 
tions. By constant effort, evil tendencies, which have 
been inherited, may be overcome ; good traits may be 
so developed as to overshadow the evil of an unfortu- 
nate nature. Thus all may form noble characters, no 
matter how adverse the circumstances under which they 
live, or the natural disadvantages with which they have 
to contend. 

How a Noble Character is Ruined.— A bad character 


is formed by the development of bad traits or evil pro- 
pensities. In other words, sin is the cause of the de- 
moralization of character, the debasing of the mind, 
the loss of nobility, of which we see so much around us 
in the world. When one yields to temptations to wrong- 
doing, either such as come from one's own evil nature, or 
from evil associates or surroundings, he makes a blem- 
ish upon his character which years may not remove. 
An ugly scar will ever remain to mar his character. 

Sin is the violation of some law. There are two 
kinds of sin : that which is a transgression of the moral 
law, and that which is a transgression of physical law. 
In one sense, all sin is transgression of moral law ; for it 
is the moral duty of every one to obey every law which 
relates to his well-being. Both classes of sin are fol- 
lowed by penalties. If a person violates the laws of 
health, he is just as certain to suffer as though he tells 
a falsehood, steals, murders, or commits any other crime. 
Perfect obedience to all of nature's laws, including, of 
course, all moral laws, is necessary to perfect health and 
perfect nobility of character. The nature of these laws 
and the result of transgression will be understood after 
we have taken a hasty glance at — 

A Wonderful Machine.— All the inventions and 
devices ever constructed by the human hand or con- 
ceived by the human mind, no matter how delicate, how 
intricate and complicated, are simple, childish toys com- 
pared with that most marvelously wrought mechanism, 
the human body. Its parts are far more delicate, and 
their mutual adjustments infinitely more accurate, than 
are those of the most perfect chronometer ever made. 

In order to understand the structure of this wonder- 


ful machine, let us go back to the . earliest period of its 
existence. At this time, we find it to be but a mere 
speck of matter, a single cell, a delicate little mass of 
jelly-like protoplasm so small that a hundred or two 
would not measure more than an inch if arranged in a 
row. Under proper circumstances, this little cell grows, 
expands, and finally subdivides into two, through the 
operations of the protoplasm, or living matter, which 
chiefly composes it. The same activity occasions 
another subdivision, making four cells of the two. Still 
another division produces eight cells. 

Thus the processes of growth and division continue 
until the one original cell has developed into hundreds, 
even thousands and millions, under the active working 
of the protoplasm, which is the chief component of the 
cells, and the potent agent in their activities. Develop- 
ment and division still continue while a new process of 
folding is set up, layers of cells being formed, groups and 
subgroups being set off, which develop into special 
systems and organs, until by and by the whole complex 
organism which we call man is developed. 

What the Microscope Reveals.— To enable us to 
comprehend more fully how " fearfully and wonderfully 
made " is the " human form divine," let us examine 
with minute care, by the aid of a powerful microscope, 
one single part of the body, the blood. A prick of the 
finger secures a tiny drop of red blood, which we place 
upon a small slip of glass, and adjust under the micro- 
scope. The magical instrument presents to view a scene 
of such rare beauty as seldom meets the human eye. 
The red blood has faded out to a faint amber color, and 
the whole field is swarming with tiny creatures of the 


most delicate and symmetrical structure, which float 
about singly, or cling together in little groups. Here 
and there may be seen some a little larger than the 
others, though still so small that three thousand of them 
arranged in a row would extend but one inch, curious 
little round masses, so transparent as to be almost in- 
visible. They are not very numerous, but scattered 
here and there about the field. 

Presently we perceive that some are changing their 
form. A moment ago, the first one we inspected was 
as round as a watch crystal ; now it has become elliptical 
in form. A few minutes later, we look again, and it has 
stretched itself out into a long filament like an angle- 
worm. Presently it begins to draw itself up into a 
round mass again ; and in less time than is required to 
describe the action, it has assumed its original shape, 
but has changed its position. That is the way the 
little creature moves about. It makes itself into the 
shape of a worm, and crawls just as a worm does, by 
making one end fast, and drawing the rest of the 
body up. 

But what does it move about for ? Why may it not 
remain stationary ? Shortly we shall see, if we watch 
carefully. Even now the reason is evident. Reader, 
just peep over our shoulder a moment. Put your eye 
down to the eye-piece of our microscope. Do you see 
the little fellow? Look sharp, and you will. A few 
seconds ago it was round as a full moon. Now there 
is a little pocket in one side. The pocket is growing 
deeper and deeper. What is the object of such a curi- 
ous procedure ? Let us put on another eye-piece. 
Now we have magnified the object a million times. See 


how much larger it looks. Now look at the pocket. 
The mystery is solved. There is a little speck of food 
which the little creature wishes to get, and so he has 
made a pocket to put it in. 

The queerest part is yet to come, so we must watch 
patiently a moment more. Now the mouth of the pocket 
is closing up. Evidently, the little fellow is afraid he 
may lose the precious morsel, and so he is going to shut 
the pocket to prevent its escape. Now the opening is 
closed, and before we are aware of it, the pocket has 
itself disappeared, and there is the little particle inside. 

This seems a marvelous process, but it is a peculiar 
way these little fellows have of taking their food. When 
they wish to eat, they make a mouth or a stomach on 
purpose for the occasion. If we wait a few moments, 
we shall see that the little particle so curiously swal- 
lowed has disappeared ; it is now digested. 

Thus we see, by studying the habits of these won- 
derful little creatures which live in the blood, that 
although having no legs, wings, or other organs of loco- 
motion, they move from place to place at will ; having 
no hands, they feel ; having no mouths, they eat ; and 
though possessed of no stomach, they digest. They 
are born, develop, grow old and infirm, and die, just as 
larger creatures. Each has its own separate life, and its 
special duties to perform, just as have horses, oxen, dogs, 
and the human beings of whom they form a part. 

Thus we learn that the blood is a stream, coursing 
through the various channels of the body, known as 
arteries and veins, carrying in each drop millions of 
creatures which live and grow in the limpid fluid like 
the fishes in our rivers, or like the birds in the air. 


These little creatures are known to science as blood 
corpuscles. Every part of the body is likewise com- 
posed of living creatures, which has each his special 
work to do. Those of the same class, or which have 
the same kind of labor to perform, are grouped together, 
just as glass-blowers, printers, and other persons of the 
same trade, are associated together in their work. All 
these groups of living beings, working together, make up 
that wonderful machine, the human body, the most im- 
portant parts of which we will now proceed to study. 

In order that an individual human being may live 
and develop, it is necessary that he should eat, drink, 
digest, and assimilate, and that he should be able to 
move about, to perceive ; that is, to hear, see, feel, smell, 
taste, determine weight, and distinguish temperature, to 
think, and to express ideas in language. In order to 
keep his vital machinery in order, it is necessary that 
the body should also be able to repair injuries which 
may occur in consequence of wear or accident, and to 
remove worn-out material which would otherwise obstruct 
the working of the delicate machinery of which his body 
is constructed. Each of these functions requires special 
organs and apparatuses to carry on the work ; and these 
we will now briefly consider : — 

The Nutritive Apparatus.— This consists of organs 
for the purpose of taking in food or nourishment, digest- 
ing it, and distributing it throughout the body wherever 
it is needed. These are chiefly the mouth and teeth for 
receiving and chewing the food, the stomach and intes- 
tines for digesting and absorbing it, and the heart and 
blood-vessels for distributing it to the body. 

The Moving Apparatus.— For the purpose of pro- 


ducing motion, we have the muscles and the bones, by 
which the food is received, masticated, and swallowed, 
the blood circulated, the body moved about from place to 
place, and speech, expression, respiration, and many 
other important functions performed. 

The Thinking and Feeling Apparatus.— The brain 
and nerves afford the means of thinking and feeling, also 
giving rise to all the activities of the body by the produc- 
tion of nerve force. To aid the brain and nerves, we 
have special organs provided, termed the organs of spe- 
cial sense ; as the eye for sight, the ear for hearing, the 
nose for the detection of odors, the tongue for tasting, 
the skin and the mucous membrane for the sense of 

The Purifying Apparatus. — Waste matter accumu- 
lates in the body so rapidly that it is necessary to have 
abundant and efficient means to remove the same, and 
prevent death by obstruction. This work is performed 
by the lungs, liver, kidneys, skin, and mucous mem- 

Each organ and tissue possesses the power to repair 
itself. Animal heat, which is also necessary to life, is 
not produced by any special set of organs, but results 
incidentally from the various other processes named. 

The Reproductive Apparatus.— As there is a stom- 
ach to digest, a brain to think, a pair of lungs to breathe, 
etc., so there are special organs for reproducing the spe- 
cies or producing new individuals. Unlike all the other 
organs of the body, they are intended for use only after 
full development of manhood has been attained ; conse- 
quently, they are only partially developed in childhood, 

becoming perfected as the person becomes older, espe- 



daily after about the age of fourteen to eighteen, when 
puberty occurs. The lungs, the stomach, the muscles, 
and other organs must be used constantly from the earliest 
period of infancy, and hence are developed sufficiently 
for efficient use at birth. The fact that the sexual or re- 
productive organs are only fully developed later on in 
life, is sufficient evidence that they are intended for use 
only when the body has become fully matured and well 

The Down-Hill Road,— In every large city, and in 
small ones too, even in little villages, we can scarcely 
step upon the street without being pained at meeting 
little boys who have perhaps scarcely learned to speak 
distinctly, but whose faces show very plainly that they 
have already taken several steps down the steep hill- 
side of vice. All degrees of wickedness are pictured on 
the faces of a large proportion of the boys we meet upon 
the streets, loitering about the corners, loafing in hotels, 
groceries, and about bar-room doors. Everywhere we 
meet small faces upon which sin and vice are as clearly 
written as though the words were actually spelled out. 
Lying, swearing, smoking, petty stealing, and brazen 
impudence are among the vices which contaminate thou- 
sands and thousands of the boys who are by and by to 
become the men of this country, to constitute its legis- 
lators, its educators, its supporters, and its protectors. 
Is it possible that such boys can become good, use- 
ful, noble, trustworthy men ? If the seeds of noxious 
weeds can be made to produce useful plants or beauti- 
ful flowers, or if a barren, worthless shrub can be made 
to bear luscious fruit, then may we expect to see 
these vicious boys grow up into virtuous, useful men. 


But the vices mentioned are not the worst, whose 
traces we see stamped upon the faces of hundreds of 
boys, some of whom, too, would scorn to commit any 
one of the sins named. There is another vice, still more 
terrible, more blighting in its effects, a vice which de- 
files, diseases, and destroys the body, enervates, de- 
grades, and finally dethrones the mind, debases and 
ruins the soul. It is to this vice that we wish especially 
to call attention. It is known as — 

Self-Abuse. — Secret vice, masturbation, and self- 
pollution are other names applied to the same awful sin 
against nature and against God. We shall not explain 
here the exact nature of the sin, as very few boys are 
so ignorant or so innocent as to be unacquainted with it. 
To this sin and its awful consequences we now wish to 
call the attention of all who may read these lines. 

A Dreadful Sin. — The sin of self-pollution is one of 
the vilest, the basest, and the most degrading that a 
human being can commit. It is worse than beastly. 
Those who commit it place themselves far below the 
meanest brute that breathes. The most loathsome 
reptile, rolling in the slush and slime of its stagnant 
pool, would not bemean itself thus. It is true that 
monkeys sometimes have the habit, but only when they 
have been taught it by vile men or boys. A boy who 
is thus guilty, ought to be ashamed to look into the eyes 
of an honest dog. Such a boy naturally shuns the com- 
pany of those who are pure and innocent. He cannot 
look with assurance into his mother's face. It is difficult 
for any one to catch his eye, even for a few seconds. 
He feels his guilt, and acts it out, thus making it known 
to every one. Let such a boy think how he must appear 


in the eyes of the Almighty. Let him only think of the 
angels, pure, innocent, and holy, who are eye-witnesses 
of his shameful practices. Is not the thought appalling? 
Would he dare commit such a sin in the presence of his 
father, his mother, or his sisters ? How, then, will he 
dare to defile himself in the presence of Him from whose 
all-seeing eye nothing is hid ? 

The Bible utters the most solemn warnings against 
sexual sins. The inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah 
were destroyed by fire and brimstone for such trans- 
gressions. Onan was struck dead in the act of commit- 
ting a vileness of this sort. For similar vices the wicked 
inhabitants of Palestine were destroyed, and their lands 
given to the Hebrews. For a single violation of the 
seventh commandment, one of the most notable Bible 
characters, David, suffered to the day of his death. 
Those who imagine that this sin is not a transgression of 
the seventh commandment, may be assured that this 
most heinous, revolting, and unnatural vice is in every 
respect more pernicious, more debasing, and more im- 
moral than what is generally considered as violation of 
the commandment which says, " Thou shalt not commit 
adultery," and is a most flagrant violation of the same 
same commandment. 

Those who imagine that they " have a right to do as 
they please with themselves," so long as no one else is 
immediately affected, must learn that we are not our 
own masters ; we belong to our Creator, and are ac- 
countable to God, not only for the manner in which we 
treat our fellow-men, but for how we treat ourselves, for 
the manner in which we use the bodies which he has 
given us. The man who commits suicide, who takes his 


own life, is a murderer as much as he who kills a fellow- 
man. So, also, he who pollutes himself in the manner 
we are considering, violates the seventh commandment, 
although the crime is in both cases committed against 
himself. Think of this, ye youth who defile yourselves 
in secret, and seek to escape the punishment of sin. In 
heaven a faithful record of your vile commandment- 
breaking is kept, and you must meet it by and by. You 
are fixing your fate for eternity ; and each daily act in 
some degree determines what it shall be. Are you a 
victim of this debasing vice ? Stop, repent, reform, 
before you are forever ruined, — a mental, moral, and 
physical wreck. 

Self-Murderers. — Of all the vices to which numan 
beings are addicted, no other so rapidly undermines the 
constitution and so certainly makes a complete wreck of 
an individual as this, especially when the habit is begun 
at an early age. It wastes the most precious part of the 
blood, uses up the vital forces, and finally leaves the 
poor victim a most utterly ruined and loathsone object. 
If a boy should be deprived of both hands and feet, and 
should lose his eyesight, he would still be infinitely 
better off than the boy who for years gives himself up 
to the gratification of lust in secret vice. For such a 
boy to become a strong, vigorous man is just as impossi- 
ble as it would be to make a mammoth tree out of a 
currant bush. Such a man will necessarily be short- 
lived. He will always suffer from the effects of his 
folly, even though he shall marry. If he has children, — 
he may become incapable, — they will be quite certain to 
be puny, weak, scrofulous, consumptive, rickety, nerv- 
ous, depraved in body and mind, or otherwise deprived 


of the happiness which grows out of the possession of 
" a sound mind in a sound body." 

Let us notice a little more closely the terrible effects 
resulting from this most unnatural and abominable vice. 

What Makes Boys Dwarfs ?— How many times have 
we seen boys who were born with good constitutions, 
with force and stamina sufficient to develop them into 
large, vigorous men, become puny dwarfs. At the time 
when they ought to begin to grow and develop more 
rapidly than ever before, their growth is checked, and 
they cease to develop. They are, in fact, stunted, 
dwarfed, like a plant which has a canker-worm eating 
away at its roots. Indeed, there is a veritable canker- 
worm sapping their vitality, undermining their constitu- 
tions, and destroying their prospects for time and for 
eternity. Anxious friends may attribute the unhappy 
change to overwork, overstudy, or some similar cause ; 
but from a somewhat extended observation, we are thor- 
oughly convinced that the very vice which we are con- 
sidering is the viper which blights the prospects and 
poisons the existence of many of these promising boys. 

A boy who gives himself up to the practice of secret 
vice at an early age, say as early as seven to ten years, 
is certain to make himself a wreck. Instead of 
having a healthy, vigorous body, with strong muscles 
and a hardy constitution, he will be weak, scrawny, 
sickly, always complaining, never well, and will never 
know anything about that joyous exuberance of life and 
animal spirits which the young antelope feels as he 
bounds over the plain, or the vigorous young colt as it 
frisks about its pasture and which every youth ought 
to feel. 


Scrawny, Hollow-Eyed Boys,— Boys ought to be 
fresh and vigorous as little lambs. They ought to be 
plump, rosy, bright-eyed, and sprightly. A boy who is 
pale, scrawny, hollow-eyed, dull, listless, has something 
the matter with him. Self-abuse makes thousands of just 
such boys every year; and it is just such boys that 
make vicious, shiftless, haggard, unhappy men. This 
horrible vice steals away the health and vitality which 
are needed to develop body and mind ; and the lad that 
ought to make his mark in the world, that ought to 
become a distinguished statesman, orator, clergyman, 
physician, or author, becomes little more than a living 
animal, a mere shadow of what he ought to have been. 

Old Boys. — Often have we felt sad when we have 
heard fond mothers speaking in glowing terms of the old 
ways of their sons, and rather glorying that they looked 
so much older than they were. In nine cases out of 
ten, these old-looking boys owe their appearance to this 
vile habit ; for it is exceedingly common, and its dread- 
ful effects in shriveling and dwarfing and destroying the 
human form are too plainly perceptible, when present, 
to be mistaken. Oh, this dreadful curse ! Why will so 
many of our bright, innocent boys pollute themselves 
with it ? 

What Makes Idiots 1 — Reader, nave you ever seen 
an idiot ? If you have, the hideous picture will never be 
dissipated from your memory. The vacant stare, the 
'drooping, drooling mouth, the unsteady gait, the sensual 
look, the emptiness of mind, — all these you well 
remember. Did you ever stop to think how idiots are 
made ? It is by this very vice that the ranks of these 
poor daft mortals are being recruited every day. Every 


visitor to an insane asylum sees scores of them ; ruined 
in mind and body, only the semblance of a human being, 
bereft of sense, lower than a beast in many respects, a 
human being hopelessly lost to himself and to the 
world, — oh, most terrible thought ! — yet once pure, in- 
telligent, active, perhaps the hope of a fond mother, the 
pride of a doting father, and possibly possessed of 
natural ability to become greatly distinguished in some 
of the many noble and useful walks of life ; now sunk 
below the brute through the degrading, destroying influ- 
ence of a lustful gratification. 

Boys, are you guilty of this terrible sin ? have you 
even once in this way yielded to the tempter's voice ? 
Stop, consider, think of the awful results, repent, confess 
to God, reform. Another step in that direction, and 
you may be lost, soul and body. You cannot dally 
with the tempter. You must escape now or never. 
Do n't delay. 

Young Dyspeptics. — If we leave out of the consid- 
eration the effects of bad food and worse cookery, there 
is in our estimation no other cause so active as this in 
occasioning the early breaking down of the digestive or- 
gans of our American boys. A boy ten or twelve years 
of age ought to have a stomach capable of digesting any- 
thing not absolutely indigestible ; but there are to-day 
thousands and thousands of boys of that age whose 
stomachs are so impaired as to be incapable of digesting 
any but the most simple food. The digestion being 
ruined, decay of the teeth soon follows. Hardly one boy 
in a dozen has perfectly sound teeth. With a bad stom- 
ach and bad teeth, a foundation for disease is laid which 
is sure to result in early decay of the whole body. 


A Cause of Consumption. — In this awful vice do we 
find a cause, too, for the thousands of cases of consump- 
tion in young men. At the very time when they ought 
to be in their prime, they break down in health, and be- 
come helpless invalids for life, or speedily sink into an 
early grave. 

Upon their tombstones might justly be graven, 
"Here lies a self-murderer." Providence is not to 
blame ; nor is climate, weather, overwork, overstudy, 
or any other even seemingly plausible cause to be 
blamed. Their own sins have sunk them in mental, 
moral, and physical perdition. Such a victim literally 
dies by his own hand, a veritable suicide. Appalling 
thought ! It is a grand thing to die for one's principles, 
a martyr to right and truth. One may die blame- 
less who is the victim of some dire contagious malady 
which he could not avoid ; even the poor, downcast 
misanthrope, whose hopes are blighted and whose sorrows 
multiplied, may possibly be in some degree excused for 
wishing to end his misery with his life ; but the 
wretched being who sheds his life-blood by the disgust- 
ing maneuvers of self-pollution, — what can be said to ex- 
tenuate Ms guilt? His is a double crime. He will 
perish, overwhelmed with his own vileness. Let him 
die, and return to the dust from which he sprang. Let 
him pass from the memory of his fellow-men. 

The Race Ruined by Boys. — The human race is 
growing weaker year by year. The boys of to-day 
would be no match in physical strength for the hale, 
sturdy youths of a century ago, their great-grandpar- 
ents. An immense amount of skillful training enables 
now and then one to accomplish some wonderful feat of 


walking, rowing, or swimming ; but we hear very little 
of remarkable feats of labor accomplished by our mod- 
ern boys. Even the country boys of to-day cannot 
endure the hard work which their fathers did at the 
same age ; and we doubt not that this growing physical 
weakness is one of the reasons why so large a share of 
the boys whose fathers are farmers, and who have been 
reared on farms, are unwilling to follow the occupation of 
their fathers for a livelihood. They are too weakly to 
do the work required by an agricultural life, even by the 
aid of the numerous labor-saving inventions of the age. 

What is it that is undermining the health of the 
race, and sapping the constitutions of our American 
men ? No doubt much may be attributed to the unnat- 
ural refinements of civilization in several directions ; but 
there can be no doubt that vice is the most active cause 
of all. Secret sin and its kindred vices ruin more con- 
stitutions every year than hard work, severe study, hun- 
ger, cold, privation, and disease combined. 

Boys, the destiny of the race is in your hands. 
You can do more than all the doctors, all the scientists 
and most eminent political men in the world, to secure 
the prosperity and future greatness of the nation, by 
taking care of yourselves, by being pure, noble, true to 
yourselves and to the demands of high moral principle. 

Cases Illustrating the Effects of Self- Abuse— The 
land is full of poor human wrecks who have dashed in 
pieces their hopes for this world, and too often for the 
next also, against this hideous rock which lies hidden in 
the pathway of every young man who starts out upon 
life's stormy voyage. Gladly would we cover them 
and all their dreadful deformities, with the mantle of 


charity from the gaze of their fellow-beings ; but 
their number is so great that this could scarcely 
be done, and the lesson to be learned from their 
sad fate is such a grave one, and so needful for the 
good of the generation of young men who are just 
encountering the same dangers, that we cannot resist 
the promptings of duty to present a few examples of the 
effects of vice in men and boys that have fallen under 
our own observation. We have seen hundreds of cases 
of this sort ; have treated many scores of persons for 
the effects of the terrible crime which we are seeking to 
sound a warning against, and the number of cases we 
might describe would fill a volume ; but we will select 
only a very few. 

Two Young Wrecks.— Charles and Oscar B 

were the sons of a farmer in a Western State, aged re- 
spectively ten and twelve years. They possessed well- 
formed heads, and once had beautiful faces, and were as 
bright and sprightly as any little boys of their age to be 
.found anywhere. Their father was proud of them, and 
their fond mother took great pleasure in building bright 
hopes for her darling sons when they should attain 
maturity, and become competent to fill useful and hon- 
orable positions in the world. Living in a rapidly- 
growing Western community, they had every prospect 
of growing up to honorable usefulness, a comfort to their 
parents, a blessing to the world, and capable of enjoying 
life in the highest degree. 

But suddenly certain manifestations appeared which 
gave rise to grave apprehensions on the part of the par- 
ents. It was observed that the elder of the little boys 
no longer played about with that nimbleness which he 


had formerly shown, but seemed slow and stiff in his 
movements. Sometimes, indeed, he would stagger a 
little when he walked. Soon, also, his speech became 
affected in some degree ; he mumbled his words, and 
could not speak distinctly. In spite of all that could 
be done, the disease continued, increasing slowly in all 
its symptoms from week to week. Soon the hands, 
also, became affected, so that the little boy could not 
feed himself. The mind now began to fail. The bright 
eyes became vacant and expressionless. Instead of the 
merry light which used to shine in them, there was a 
blank, idiotic stare. 

Imagine the grief and anguish of the poor mother ! 
No one but a mother who has been called to pass through 
a similar trial could know how to sympathize with such 
an one. Her darling son she saw daily becoming a prey 
to a strange, incurable malady, with no power even to 
stay the progress of the terrible disease. 

But there was still greater grief in store for her. 
Within a year or two the younger son began to show 
symptoms of the same character, and in spite of all that 
was done, rapidly sank into the same helpless state as 
his brother. As a last resort, the mother took her boys, 
and came a long journey to place them under our 
care. At that time they were both nearly helpless. 
Neither could walk but a few steps. They reeled and 
staggered about like drunken men, falling down upon 
each other, and going through the most agonizing con- 
tortions in their attempts to work their way from one 
chair to another and thus about the room. Their heads 
were no longer erect, but drooped like wilted flowers. 
On their faces was a blank, imbecile expression, with 


few traces of their former intelligence left. The mouth 
was open, from the drooping of the lower jaw, and the 
saliva constantly dribbled upon the clothing. Alto- 
gether, the sight of them was a most appalling spectacle. 

We at once set to work to discover the cause of this 
dreadful condition, believing that such an awful pun- 
ishment should certainly be the result of some gross 
violation of nature's laws somewhere. The most care- 
ful scrutiny of the history of the parents of the un- 
fortunate lads gave us no clue to anything of an hered- 
itary character, both parents having come of good fam- 
ilies, and having been always of sober, temperate habits. 
The father had used neither liquor nor tobacco in any 
form. The mother could give no light on the matter, 
and we were obliged to rest for the time being upon the 
conviction which fastened itself upon us that the cases 
before us were most marked illustrations of the results 
of self-abuse begun at a very early age. The mother 
thought it impossible that our suspicions could be cor- 
rect, saying that she had watched her sons with jealous 
care from earliest infancy, and had seen no indications of 
any error of the sort. But we had not long to wait for 
confirmation of our view of the case, as they were soon 
caught in the act, to which it was found that they were 
greatly addicted, and the mystery was wholly solved. 

Every possible remedy was used to check the terrible 
disease which was preying upon the unfortunate boys, 
but in vain. At times the symptoms would be some- 
what mitigated, and the most sanguine hopes of the fond, 
watching mother would be excited, but in vain. The 
improvement was always but temporary, and the poor 
sufferers would speedily relapse into the same dreadful 


condition again, and gradually grow worse. At last the 
poor mother was obliged to give up all hope, in utter 
despair watching the daily advances of the awful malady 
which inch by inch destroyed the life, the humanity, the 
very mind and soul of her once promising sons. Sadly 
she took them back to her Western home, there to see 
them suffer, perhaps for years before death should kindly 
release them, — the terrible penalty of sin committed 
almost before they had arrived at years of responsibility. 

How these mere infants learned the vice, we were 
never able to determine. We have no doubt that oppor- 
tunities sufficient were presented them, a's the parents 
seemed to have very little appreciation of danger from 
this source. Had greater vigilance been exercised, we 
doubt not that the discovery of the vice at the beginning 
would have resulted in the salvation of these two beauti- 
ful boys, who were sacrificed upon the altar of concupis- 
cence. Two or three years after we first saw the cases, 
we heard from them, and though still alive, their con- 
dition was almost too horrible for description. Three 
or four similar cases have come to our knowledge. 

Boys, are you guilty ? Think of the fearful fate of 
these boys, once as joyous and healthy as you. When 
you are tempted to sin, think of the fearful picture of 
the effects of sin which they present. Have you ever 
once dared to commit this awful sin ? Stop, never dare 
to do the thing again. Take a solemn vow before God 
to be pure. Your fate may be as sad, your punishment 
as terrible. No one can tell what the results may be. 
Absolute purity is the only safe course. 

A Prodigal Youth, — A. M., son of a gentleman of 
wealth in Ohio, early acquired the evil practice which 


has ruined so many bright lads. He was naturally an 
intelligent and prepossessing lad, and his father gave 
him as good an education as he could be induced to 
acquire, affording him most excellent opportunities for 
study and improvement. But the vile habit which had 
been acquired at an early age, speedily began its blight- 
ing influence. It destroyed his taste for study and cult- 
ure. His mind dwelt upon low and vile subjects. He 
grew restless of home restraint and surroundings, and 
finally left the parental roof. Wandering from city to 
city, he grew rapidly worse, sinking into deeper depths 
of vice, until finally he became a base, besotted, wretched 
creature. Broken down in health by his sins, he could 
no longer enjoy even the most sensual pleasures ; and 
with no taste for or capability of appreciating anything 
higher, he was most wretched indeed. The poor fellow 
then fell into the hands of quacks. His kind father sent 
him money in answer to his pitiful appeals for help, and 
he went anxiously from one to another of the wretched 
villains who promise relief to such sufferers, but only 
rob them of their money, and leave them worse than 

At last, in total despair of everything else, the poor 
fellow came to us. He seemed quite broken-hearted 
and penitent for his sins, and really appeared to want to 
lead a better life if he could only be made well again. 
We faithfully pointed out to him the dreadful wickedness 
of his course, and the fact that a cure could only be 
effected by the most implicit obedience to all of nature's 
laws during his whole future life. Indeed, we were 
obliged to inform him of the sad fact that he could never 
be as well as before, that he must always suffer in con- 


sequence of his dreadful course of transgression. We 
gave him a most earnest exhortation to begin the work 
of reform where alone it could be effectual, by reforming 
his heart; and the tears which coursed down his sin- 
scarred cheeks seemed to indicate true penitence and a 
real desire to return to the paths of purity and peace. 

Earnestly we labored for this young man, for months 
employing every means in our power to lift him from 
the slough of sin and vice upon the solid pathway of 
virtue and purity again. Gradually the hard lines on 
his face seemed to lessen in intensity. The traces of 
vice and crime seemed to be fading out by degrees. We 
began to entertain hopes of his ultimate recovery. But 
alas ! in an evil moment, through the influence of bad 
companions, he fell, and for some time we lost sight of 
him. A long time afterward we caught a glimpse of 
his bloated, sin-stained face, just as he was turning 
aside to avoid recognition. Where this poor human 
wreck is now leading his miserable existence we cannot 
say, but have no doubt he is haunting the dens of iniquity 
and sin in the cities, seeking to find a little momentary 
pleasure in the gratification of his appetites and passions. 
A hopeless wreck, with the lines of vice and crime 
drawn all over his tell-tale countenance, he dares not go 
home, for he fears to meet the reproachful glance of his 
doting mother, and the scornful looks of his brothers 
and sisters. 

We never saw a more thoroughly unhappy creature. 
He is fully conscious of his condition. He sees himself 
to be a wreck, in mind, in body, and knows that he is 
doomed to suffer still more in consequence of his vices. 
He has no hope for this world or the next. His mother 


gave him earnest, pious instructions, which he has never 
forgotten, though he has long tried to smother them. 
He now looks forward with terror to the fate which he 
well knows awaits all evil-doers, and shudders at the 
thought, but seems powerless to enter the only avenue 
which affords a chance of escape. He is so tormented 
with the pains and diseased conditions which he has 
brought upon himself by vice, that he often looks to 
self-destruction as a grateful means of escape ; but then 
comes the awful foreboding of future punishment, and 
his hand is stayed. Ashamed to meet his friends, afraid 
to meet his Maker, he wanders about, an exile, an out- 
cast, a hopeless wreck. 

Young man, youth, have you taken the first step on 
this evil road ? If so, take warning by the fate of this 
young man. At once " cease to do evil and learn to do 
well," before, like him, you lose the power to do right, 
before your will is paralyzed by sin so that when you 
desire to do right, to reform, your will and power to ex- 
ecute your good determinations fail to support your 

Barely Escaped,— L. R., of H , a young man 

about twenty-five years of age, presented himself for 
treatment, a few years ago, for the consequences of self- 
abuse. Having been taught the habit by evil companions 
when just merging into manhood, he had indulged his 
passions without restraint for several years, not knowing 
the evil consequences until he began to suffer the effects 
of sin. Then, being warned by his own experience, and 
by the fortunate thoughtfulness of an intelligent friend 
who surmised his condition and told him faithfully of 
the terrible results of the vile habit, he made a manly 



effort to reform, and claimed to have wholly broken the 
habit. To his great grief he found, however, that the 
years in which he had devoted himself to sin had 
wrought sad havoc in his system. In many ways his 
health was greatly deranged, and his once powerful con- 
stitution was broken down. The sexual organs them- 
selves were greatly diseased, so much so that a serious 
and painful surgical operation was necessary. With 
shame and mortification he looked upon his past life, and 
saw what a hideous work of evil he had wrought. His 
vileness stood out before him in a vivid light, and he 
felt ashamed to meet the gaze of his fellows. 

After performing the necessary surgical operation 
upon this poor unfortunate, we dealt faithfully with him, 
pointing out to him the way by which he might with 
proper effort in some degree redeem himself by a life- 
long struggle against every form of impurity. He felt, 
and rightly, that the task was a most severe one. He 
well knew that the stamp of sin was on his countenance 
and in his mind. Thoughts long allowed to run upon 
vile subjects, forming filthy pictures in the imagination, 
are not easily brought back to the channel of purity and 
virtue. The mind that has learned to love to riot in 
impure dreams, does not readily acquire a love for the 
opposite. But he determined to make a brave and 
earnest effort, and we have every reason to believe that 
he has, in a measure at least, succeeded. But, if so, he 
has made a narrow escape. A few more years of sin, 
and his rescue would have been impossible ; both mind 
and body would have been sunk so deep in the mire of 
concupiscence that nothing but Almighty power could 
have saved him from utter destruction. 


Thousands of boys and young men are to-day stand- 
ing on the slippery brink of that awful precipice from 
which but very few are snatched away. Soon they will 
plunge headlong over into the abyss of debasement and 
corruption, from whence they will never escape. Oh 
that we had the power to reach each one of these unfort- 
unate youths before it is too late, and to utter in their 
ears such warnings, to portray before them such pictures 
of the sure results of a course of sin, that they might be 
turned back to the paths of chastity and virtue before 
they have become such mental, moral, and physical 
wrecks as we every day encounter in the walks of life. 
But not one in a thousand can be reached when they 
have gone so far in sin. When they have ventured 
once, they can rarely be checked in their downward 
course until great harm has been wrought which it will 
require the work of years to undo. The young man we 
have referred to made indeed a narrow escape, but no 
one can safely run such a risk. Even he must suffer 
all his life the consequences of a few years of sin. 

A Lost Soul. — M. M., of , was the son of a 

mechanic in humble circumstances. He was an only 
child, and his parents spared no pains to do all in their 
power to insure his becoming a good and useful man. 
Good school advantages were given him, and at a proper 
age he was put to learn a trade. He succeeded fairly, 
and their hopes of his becoming all that they could de- 
sire were great, when he suddenly began to manifest 
peculiar symptoms. He had attended a religious revival, 
and seemed much affected, professing religion and be- 
coming a member of the church. To the exercises of his 
mind on the subject of religion his friends attributed his 


peculiar actions, which soon became so strange as to 
excite grave fears that his mind was seriously affected. 
At times he was wild, showing such unmistakable 
evidences of insanity that even his poor mother, who 
was loth to believe the sad truth, was forced to admit 
that he was deranged. 

After a few months a change came over him, which 
encouraged his friends to think that he was recovering. 
He became quiet and tractable, never manifesting the 
furious symptoms before observed. But the deception 
was only temporary ; for it was soon evident that the 
change was simply the result of the progress of the 
disease, and denoted a failure of the mental powers and 
the approach of imbecility. In this condition was the 
young man when he came under our care. We felt 
strongly impressed from our first examination of the 
case that it was one of sexual abuse ; but we were 
assured by his friends in the most emphatic manner that 
such was an impossibility. It was claimed that the 
most scrupulous care had been bestowed upon him, and 
that he had been so closely watched that it was impossi- 
ble that he should have been guilty of so gross a vice. 
His friends were disposed to attribute his sad condition 
to excessive exercise of mind upon religious subjects. 

Not satisfied with this view of the case, we set a close 
watch upon him, and within a week his nurse reported 
that he had detected him in the act of self-pollution, 
when he confessed the truth, not being yet so utterly 
devoid of sense as to have lost his appreciation of the 
sinfulness of the act. When discovered, he exclaimed, 
"I know I have made myself a fool," which was the 
exact truth. 


At this time the once bright and intelligent youth 
had become so obtuse and stupid that he appeared 
almost senseless. His face wore an idiotic expression, 
and was rarely lighted up by a look of intelligence. 
It was only by the greatest exertion that he could be 
made to understand or to respond when spoken to. In 
whatever position he was placed, whether lying, sitting, 
or standing, no matter how constrained or painful, he 
would remain for hours, staring vacantly, as fixed and 
immovable as a statue. His countenance was blank and 
expressionless, except at rare intervals. His lips were 
always parted, and the saliva ran from the corners of his 
mouth down upon his clothing. The calls of nature 
were responded to involuntarily, constantly soiling his 
clothing and bedding in a most disgusting manner, and 
requiring the constant attention of a nurse to keep him 
in anything like a wholesome condition. 

We did what we could to relieve this poor victim of 
unhallowed lust, but soon became convinced that no 
human arm could save from utter ruin this self-destroyed 
soul. At our suggestion the young man was removed, 
to be placed in an institution devoted to the care of im- 
beciles and lunatics. The last we heard of the poor fel- 
low he was still sinking into lower depths of physical 
and mental degradation, — a soul utterly lost and ruined. 
How many thousands of young men who might have 
been useful members of society, lawyers, clergymen, 
statesmen, scientists, have thus sunk into the foul 
depths of the quagmire of vice, to rise no more forever ! 
Oh, awful fate ! The human eye never rests upon a 
sadder sight than a ruined soul, a mind shattered and 
debased by vice. 


The Results of One Transgression.— The following 
case is a good illustration of the fact that a long course 
of transgression is not necessary to occasion the most 
serious results. A young man from an Eastern State, 
who visited us for treatment, was suffering with the 
usual consequences of self-abuse ; but he asserted in the 
most emphatic manner that he had never committed the 
act of self-pollution but once in his life. He had, how- 
ever, after that one vile act, allowed his mind to run 
upon vile thoughts, giving loose rein to his imagination, 
and in consequence he found himself as bad off, suffering 
with the very same disorders, as those who had practiced 
the vice for some time. 

Not the slightest dallying with sin is safe. The 
maintenance of perfect purity and chastity of body and 
mind is the only right and safe course. By a few 
months' treatment the young man recovered his health 
in a great measure, and, marrying an estimable young 
lady, settled down happily in life. Many tears of 
remorse and repentance did he shed over that one sinful 
act, and bitterly did he reproach the evil companion who 
taught him to sin; but he was fortunate enough to 
escape without suffering the worst effects of the sin, and 
is now living a reformed and happy life. 

A Hospital Case. — One of the most wretched creat- 
ures we ever saw among the many sufferers from sexual 
excesses we have met, was a man about thirty years of 
age whom we found in the large Charity Hospital on 
Blackwell's Island, New York City. In consequence of 
long indulgence in the soul-and-body-destroying habit, 
he had brought upon himself, not only the most serious 
and painful disease of the sexual organs themselves, but 


disease of the bladder and other adjacent organs. He 
was under severe and painful treatment for a long time 
without benefit, and finally a surgical operation was per- 
formed, but with the result of affording only partial 

An Old Offender, — Never were we more astonished 
than at the depth of depravity revealed to us by the 
confessions of a patient from a distant country who was 
upwards of sixty years of age, and was yet a victim of 
the vile habit to which he had become addicted when a 
youth. The stamp of vice was on his face, and was not 
hidden by the lines made by advancing age. The suffer- 
ings which this ancient sinner endured daily in conse- 
quence of his long course of sin were sometimes fearful 
to behold ; and yet he continued the habit in spite of all 
warnings, advice, and every influence which could be 
brought to bear upon him. So long had he transgressed, 
he had lost his sense of shame, and his appreciation of 
the vileness of sin, and it was impossible to reform him 
by any means which could be brought to bear upon him. 
He left us still a sufferer, though somewhat relieved, and 
we have every reason to believe, as vile a sinner as ever. 
Undoubtedly, before this time his worthless life is ended, 
and he has gone down into a sinner's grave, hoary with 
vice, — a terrible end. 

The Sad End of a Young Victim,— C. L., a young 
man residing in a large Southern city, was the youngest 
son of parents who, though in moderate circumstances, 
appreciated the value of education, and were anxious ta 
give their children every advantage possible for them to 
receive. With this end in view, the young man was 
sent to college, where he did well for a time, being 


naturally studious and intelligent; but after a brief 
period lie began to drop behind his classes. He seemed 
moody and obtuse. He could not complete his tasks, 
even by the most severe application. It seemed impos- 
sible for him to apply himself. The power of concentra- 
tion appeared to be lost. Soon he was seized with fits of 
gloominess from which he did not seem to have power 
to free himself. His strength began to fail to such a 
degree that he could hardly drag himself to his meals, 
and at last he was almost confined to his room. He 
became greatly emaciated. The failure of his mental 
powers seemed to keep pace with the wasting of his 
body, so that it was soon evident that he must abandon 
all hope of pursuing his studies, for some time at least. 
His case being brought to our notice, we gave him 
every attention possible, and spared no effort to rescue 
him from his condition. We readily perceived the cause 
of his troubles, but for a long time he did not acknowl- 
edge the truth. At last he confessed that he had 
sinned for years in the manner suspected, and was suf- 
fering the consequences. A knowledge of his guilt 
weighed upon him, and haunted him day and night. He 
promised to reform ; but if he did, it was too late, for the 
wasting disease which had fastened upon him continued. 
At his mothers request he returned to his home, and a 
few weeks later we received the awful intelligence that 
he had ended his miserable life by blowing out his brains 
with a pistol. Thus tragically ended the career of this 
young man, who might, with the advantages afforded 
him, have become a useful member of society. In total 
despair for this life or the next, he rashly ended his pro- 
bation, and with his own hand finished the work of de- 


struction which he had himself begun. No words can 
tell the grief of his stricken mother; but fortunately, 
she was spared the knowledge of the whole truth else 
would her sorrow have been too great to bear. 

From Bad to Worse. — C. E., a young man from the 
West, was sent to us by his father with the request that 
we would do what we could to save him. His father's 
letter intimated that the son had been a source of grief 
to him, but he hoped that he had repented of his prod- 
igal course, and was really determined to reform. 
Though scarcely more than twenty years of age, the 
young man's face wore an aspect of hardness, from 
familiarity with vice, that we have rarely seen. He 
was reduced to a mere skeleton by the vice which he 
made no secret of, and was so weak that he could 
scarcely walk a rod. It seemed as if every organ in his 
body was diseased, and that he had so squandered his 
vital resources that he had no power to rally from his 
wretched condition, even should he carry out the deter- 
mination to reform which he announced. However, we 
gave him the best counsel and advice within our power, 
and placed him under treatment. After a few weeks it 
was evident that nature was still willing to respond to 
his endeavors to reform, by vigorous efforts to restore 
him to a condition of comparative health. Thus he was 
snatched, as it appeared, from the very jaws of death. 
Under these circumstances it would seem that the most 
hardened criminal would reform, at least for a season, 
and lead a life of rectitude ; but so utterly depraved 
was this poor wretch that no sooner did he find that he 
was not liable to die immediately than he at once began 
again his career of sin. By long indulgence his moral 


sense had become apparently obliterated. He seemed 
to be utterly without the restraint imposed by con- 
science. In less than a month he was detected in the 
crime of theft, having stolen a watch from a fellow- 
patient. Upon his arrest, stimulated by the hope of in 
some degree mitigating his punishment, he confessed to 
having been carrying on a series of petty thieving for 
weeks before he was finally detected, having scores of 
stolen articles in possession. The last time we saw the 
wretched fellow he was being led away in irons to 
prison. We have since heard that he continues in his 
downward career, having served out his time in prison, 
and will undoubtedly end his life in a felon's cell, unless 
he is shrewd enough to escape his just deserts. Having 
lost all desire to do right, to be noble, pure, and good, 
all efforts to reform and restore him to the path of recti- 
tude were fruitless. It was only the fear of impending 
death that caused him to pause for a few days in his 
criminal course. 

Young man, take warning by this sad case ; enter 
not the pathway of vice. A course of vice once entered 
upon is not easily left. A youth who once gives himself 
up to sin, rarely escapes from going headlong to destruc- 

An Indignant Father,— A case came to our knowledge 
through a gentleman who brought his daughter to us 
for treatment for the effects of self-abuse, of a father 
who adopted a summary method of curing his son of the 
evil practice. Having discovered that the lad was a 
victim of the vile habit, and having done all in his 
power by punishment, threats, and representations of its 
terrible effects, but without inducing him to reform, the 


father, in a fit of desperation, seized the sinful boy, and 
with his own hand performed upon him the operation of 
castration as he would have done upon a colt. The boy- 
recovered from the operation, and was of course effectu- 
ally cured of his vile habit. The remedy was efficient, 
though not justifiable. Even a father has no right 
thus to mutilate his own son, though we must confess 
that the lad's chances for becoming a useful man are 
fully as good as they would have been had he continued 
his course of sin. 

Disgusted with Life.— T. A. was a young man of 
promise, the son of ambitious parents, proud-spirited, and 
without respect for religion. While still quite young, 
he enlisted in the service of the Government, and 
after a time rose to the position of an officer in the U. S. 
army. Having in boyhood acquired the habit of self- 
abuse, he had stimulated his passions without restraint, 
and was readily led still farther astray by the evil com- 
panions by whom he was surrounded. He indulged 
his passions in every way and on every occasion when 
he found opportunity, and speedily began to feel the 
effects of his vices. Before he was fully aware of his 
condition, he found himself being literally devoured by 
one of the vilest of all diseases. 

The malady made rapid advances, and speedily 
reduced him to a condition of almost absolute helpless- 
ness. He was obliged to obtain a furlough ; but his 
vital forces were so nearly exhausted that he did not 
rally, even under skillful treatment ; and when his fur- 
lough expired, he was still in the same pitiable condition. 
Getting it extended for a time, he by accident came 
under our care, and by the aid of very thorough treat- 


ment he was in a measure improved, though the progress 
of the disease was simply stayed. When apprised of his 
real condition, he exhibited much agitation, walking 
nervously about his room, and finally exclaimed that he 
was utterly disgusted with life anyway, and after a few 
weeks or months more of suffering he should blow his 
brains out, and end his misery. He had no fears of 
death, he said ; and we presume that he could not 
imagine it possible that there was any greater suffering 
in store for him than he already endured. 

We pitied the poor fellow from the bottom of our 
heart. He had natural qualities which ought to have 
made him distinguished. He might have risen high in 
the world of usefulness. Now he was compelled to 
look back upon a short life of squandered opportunities, 
a pathway stained with vice, memories of vile debauch- 
eries which had wasted his youth and broken his consti- 
tution. Wretched was he, indeed. Notwithstanding 
his vileness, he was not lost to shame ; for his greatest 
fear was that his friends might ascertain the real cause 
of his sufferings, to conceal which he was obliged to 
resort to all sorts of subterfuges. As soon as he was 
able to travel, he left us, with little hope for this world 
and none for the next ; and we have heard nothing of 
him since. 

Scores of similar cases we might recount in detail, 
but we have not the space in this volume. These will 
suffice to give the young reader an idea of the terrible 
results of this awful vice which aro suffered by its vic- 
tims. We have not dared to portray in these pages 
one-half the misery and wretchedness which we have 
seen as the results of self-abuse and the vices to which 


it leads. The picture is too terrible for young eyes to 
behold. We most sincerely hope that none of our read- 
ers will ever have to suffer as we have seen boys and 
young men do, languishing in misery as the result of 
their own transgressions of the laws of chastity. We 
will now devote the remaining pages of this chapter to 
the consideration of some of the causes of the vice, the 
avenues that lead to the awful sin which we are consid- 
ering, to the terrible consequences which attend it. 

Bad Company. — The influence of evil companionship 
is one of the most powerful agents for evil against which 
those who love purity, and are seeking to elevate and 
benefit their fellow-men, have to contend. A bad boy 
can do more harm in a community than can be counter- 
acted by all the clergymen, Sabbath-school teachers, 
tract-distributers, and other Christian workers combined. 
An evil boy is a pest compared with which the cholera, 
small-pox, and even the plague, are nothing. The 
damage which would be done by a terrific hurricane 
sweeping with destructive force through a thickly settled 
district is insignificant compared with the evil work 
which may be accomplished by one vicious lad. 

No community is free from these vipers, these agents 
of the arch-fiend. Every school, no matter how select 
it may be, contains a greater or less number of these 
young moral lepers. Often they pursue their work un- 
suspected by the good and pure, who do not dream of 
the vileness pent up in the young brains which have not 
yet learned the multiplication table and scarcely learned 
to read. We have known instances in which a boy 
seven or eight years of age has implanted the venom of 
vice in the hearts and minds of half a score of pure- 


minded lads within a few days of his first association 
with them. This vice spreads like wild-fire. It is more 
" catching " than the most contagious disease, and more 
tenacious, when once implanted, than the leprosy. 

Boys are easily influenced cither for right or wrong, 
but especially for the wrong; hence it is the duty of 
parents to select good companions for their children, and 
it is the duty of children to avoid bad company as they 
would avoid carrion or the most loathsome object. A 
boy with a match box in a powder magazine would be 
in no greater danger than in the company of most of the 
lads who attend our public schools and play upon the 
streets. It is astonishing how early children, especially 
boys, will sometimes learn the hideous, shameless tricks 
of vice which yearly lead thousands down to everlasting 
death. Often, children begin their course of sin while 
yet cradled in their mother's arms, thus early taught by 
some vile nurse. Boys that fight and swear, that play 
upon the streets and disobey their parents, may be 
wisely shunned as unfit for associates. In many in- 
stances, however, boys whose conduct is in other re- 
spects wholly faultless, sometimes indulge in vice, ig- 
norant of its real nature and consequences. 

At the first intimation of evil on the part of a com- 
panion, a boy who is yet pure should flee away as from 
a deadly serpent or a voracious beast. Do not let the 
desire to gratify a morbid curiosity deter you from flee- 
ing at once from the source of contamination. Under 
such circumstances, do not hesitate a moment to escape 
from danger. If an evil word is spoken, or an indecent 
act of any sort indulged in by a companion, cut the ac- 
quaintance of such a boy at once. Never allow yourself 


to be alone with him for a moment. On no account be 
induced to associate with him. He will as surely soil 
and besmear with sin your moral garments as would 
contact with the most filthy object imaginable your 
outer garments. 

It were better for a boy never to see or associate 
with a lad of his own age than to run any risk of being 
corrupted before he is old enough to appreciate the terrible 
enormity of sin, and the awful consequences of transgres- 
sion. It should be recollected, also, that not only young 
boys, but vicious youths and young men are frequently 
the instructors in vice. It is unsafe to trust any but 
those who are known to be pure. 

Bad Language. — We have often been astonished at 
the facility with which children acquire the language 
of vice. Often we have been amazed to hear little 
boys scarcely out of their cradles, lisping the most hor- 
rible oaths and the vilest epithets. The streets and al- 
leys in our large cities, and in smaller ones also, in a 
less degree, are nurseries of vice, in which are reared 
the criminals that fill our jails, prisons, work-houses, 
school-ships, and houses of correction. Many a lad be- 
gins his criminal education by learning the language of 
vice and sin. At first he simply imitates the evil ut- 
terances of others ; but soon he learns the full signif- 
icance of the obscene and filthy language which he hears 
and repeats, and then he rapidly progresses in the down- 
ward road. 

A boy that indulges in the use of foul language, will 
not long be chaste in acts. It is a safe rule to be fol- 
lowed by those who wish to grow up pure and unsullied 
by sin, untainted by vice, that those who use bad Ian- 


guage are persons to avoid, to keep away from. Even 
those who are well fortified against vice, who have been 
faithfully warned of its consequences and fully appre- 
ciate its dangers, cannot be safely trusted to associate 
with vile talkers. The use of bad language by old and 
young is an evil which is of the very greatest moment. 
It is too often ignored ; too little is said about it ; far 
too often it is regarded as of little consequence ; and 
persons who are really not bad at heart, thoughtlessly 
encourage the evil by listening to and laughing at ob- 
scene and ribald jokes, and impure language which 
ought to make a virtuous man blush with shame to 

Boys, if you want to be pure, if you wish to be 
loved by a pure mother, an innocent sister, and when 
you are grown to manhood to be worthy of the confi- 
dence of a pure, virtuous wife, keep your lips pure ; 
never let a vile word or an indecent allusion pass them. 
Never, under any circumstances, give utterance to lan- 
guage that you would blush to have your mother over- 
hear. If you find yourself in the company of persons 
whose language will not bear this test, escape as soon 
as possible, for you are in danger ; your sense of what 
is right and proper in speech is being vitiated ; you are 
being damaged in many ways. 

Bad Books. — A bad book is as bad as an evil com- 
panion. In some respects it is even worse than a liv- 
ing teacher of vice, since it may cling to an individual 
at all times. It may follow him to the secrecy of his 
bed-chamber, and there poison his mind with the venom 
of evil. The influence of bad books in making bad boys 
and men is little appreciated. Few are aware how much 


evil seed in being sown among the young everywhere 
through the medium of vile books. It is not only the 
wretched volumes of obscenity, of which so many thou- 
sands have been seized and destroyed by Mr. Comstock, 
that are included under the head of bad books, and 
which corrupt the morals of the young, and lead them 
to enter the road to infamy; but the evil literature 
which is sold in " dime and nickel novels," and which 
constitutes the principal part of the contents of such 
papers as the Police Gazette, the Police News, and a 
large proportion of the sensational story books which 
flood the land, and too many of which find their way 
into town and circulating libraries, and even Sunday- 
school libraries, which are rarely selected with the care 
that should be exercised in the selection of reading 
matter for the young. 

Bad books often find their way even where evil 
companions would not intrude, and undoubtedly effect 
a work of evil almost as great as is wrought by bad as- 

Look out, boys, for the tempter in this guise. If a 
companion offers you a book of a suspicious character, 
take it home to your father, your mother, or some relia- 
ble older friend, for examination. If it is handed you 
with an air of secrecy, or if a promise to keep it hidden 
from others is required, have nothing to do with it. 
You might better place a coal of fire or a live viper in 
your bosom, than to allow yourself to read such a book. 
The thoughts that are implanted in the mind in youth 
will stick there through life, in spite of all efforts to dis- 
lodge them. Hundreds of men who have been thus in- 
jured when young, but have by some providence es- 



caped a life of vice and shame, look back with most in- 
tense regret to the early days of childhood, and ear- 
nestly wish that the pictures then made in the mind 
by bad books might be effaced. Evil impressions thus 
formed, often torture the mind during a whole lifetime. 
In the most inopportune moments they will intrude them- 
selves. When the individual desires to place his mind 
undividedly upon sacred and elevated themes, even at 
the most solemn moments of life, these lewd pictures 
will sometimes intrude themselves in spite of his efforts 
to avoid them. It is an awful thing to allow the mind 
to be thus contaminated ; and many a man would give 
the world, if he possessed it, to be free from the horri- 
ble incubus of a defiled imagination. 

Vile Pictures, — Obscene and lascivious pictures are 
influences leading boys astray which are too important to 
be unnoticed. Evil men, agents of the arch-fiend, have 
adopted all sorts of devices for putting into the hands of 
the boys and youth of the rising generation pictures cal- 
culated to excite the passions, to lead to vice. Thousands 
of these vile pictures are in circulation throughout the 
country, in spite of the worthy efforts of such philanthro- 
pists as Mr. Anthony Comstock and his co-laborers. In 
almost every large school there are boys who have a 
supply of these infamous designs, and act as agents in 
scattering the evil contagion among all who come under 
their influence. 

Under the guise of art, the genius of some of our 
finest artists is turned to pandering to this base desire 
for sensuous gratification. The pictures which hang in 
many of our art galleries, that are visited by old and 
young of both sexes, often number in the list views 


which to those whose thoughts are not well trained to 
rigid chastity can be only means of evil. A plea may 
be made for these paintings in the name of art ; but we 
see no necessity for the development of art is this par- 
ticular direction, when nature presents so many and 
such varied scenes of loveliness in landscapes, flowers, 
beautiful birds, and graceful animals, to say nothing of 
the human form protected by sufficient covering to 
satisfy the demands of modesty. 

Many of the papers and magazines sold at our news- 
stands, and eagerly sought after by young men and 
boys, are better suited for the parlors of a house of ill- 
repute than for the eyes of pure-minded youth. A 
news-dealer who will distribute such vile sheets, ought 
to be dealt with as an educator in vice and crime, an 
agent of evil, and a recruiting officer for hell and per- 

Evil Thoughts, — No one can succeed long in keep- 
ing himself from vicious acts whose thoughts dwell upon 
unchaste subjects. Only those who are pure in heart 
will be pure and chaste in action. The mind must be 
educated to love and dwell upon pure subjects in early 
life, as by this means only can the foundation be laid 
for that purity of character which alone will insure 
purity of life. When the mind once becomes contami- 
nated with evil thoughts, it requires the work of years 
of earnest effort to purge it from uncleanness. Vile 
thoughts leave scars which even time will not always 
efface. They soil and deprave the soul, as vile acts do 
the body. God knows them, if no human being does , 
and if harbored and cherished, they will tell against the 
character in the day of Judgment as surely as will evil 
words and deeds. 


Influence of Other Bad Habits.— Evil practices of 
any sort which lower the moral tone of an individual, 
which lessen his appreciation of and love for right and 
purity and true nobility of soul, encourage the develop- 
ment of vice. A hoy who loves purity, who has a keen 
sense of what is true and right, can never become a 
vicious man. Profanity, falsehood, and deception of 
every sort, have a tendency in the direction of vice. 

The use of highly seasoned food, of rich sauces, 
spices and condiments, sweetmeats, and in fact all kinds 
of stimulating foods, has an undoubted influence upon 
the sexual nature of boys, stimulating those organs into 
too early activity, and occasioning temptations to sin 
which otherwise would not occur. The use of mustard, 
pepper, pepper-sauce, spices, rich gravies, and all sim- 
ilar kinds of food, should be carefully avoided by young 
persons. They are not wholesome for either old or 
young ; but for the young they are absolutely danger- 

The use of beer, wine, hard cider, and tobacco, is es- 
pecially damaging to boys on this account. These 
stimulants excite the passions, and produce a clamoring 
for sensual gratification which few boys or young men 
have the will-power or moral courage to resist. Tobacco 
is an especially detrimental agent. The early age at 
which boys now begin the use of tobacco maybe one reason 
why the practice of secret vice is becoming so terribly 
common among boys and young men. We consider a 
boy or young man who uses tobacco liable to the com- 
mission of some vile act. 

The use of tea and coffee by boys is also a practice 
which should be interdicted. All wise physicians for- 


bid the use of these narcotic drinks, together with that 
of tobacco, and always with benefit to those who abstain. 
In France, the government has made a law forbidding 
the use of tobacco by students in the public schools. 
In Germany, a still more stringent law has been made, 
which forbids the use of tobacco by boys and young 
men. These laws have been made on account of the 
serious injury which was evidently resulting from the 
use of the filthy weed to both the health and the morals 
of the young men of those countries. There is certainly 
an equal need for such a law in this country. 

Closing Advice to Boys and Young Men,— One 
word more, and we must close this chapter, which we 
hope has been read with care by those for whom it is 
especially written. Let every boy who peruses these 
pages, remember that the facts here stated are true. 
Every word we have verified, and we have not written 
one-half that might be said upon this subject. Let the 
boy who is still pure, who has never denied himself 
with vice, firmly resolve that with the help of God he 
will maintain a pure and virtuous character. It is much 
easier to preserve purity than to get free from the taint 
of sin after having been once defiled. Let the boy who 
has already fallen into evil ways, who has been taught 
the vile practice the consequences of which we have 
endeavored to describe, and who is already in the down- 
ward road, — let him resolve now to break the chain of 
sin, to reform at once, and to renounce his evil practice 
forever. The least hesitancy, the slightest dalliance 
with the demon vice, and the poor victim will be lost 
Now, this moment, is the time to reform. Seek purity 
of mind and heart. Banish evil thoughts and shun evil 


companions ; then with earnest prayer to God, wage a 
determined battle for purity and chastity until the 
victory is wholly won. 

One of the greatest safeguards for a boy is implicit 
trust and confidence in his parents. Let him go to them 
with all his queries, instead of to some older boyish 
friend. If all boys would do this, an immense amount 
of evil would be prevented. When tempted to sic, 
boys, think first of the vileness and wickedness of the 
act ; think that God and pure angels behold every act, 
and even know every thought. Nothing is hid from 
their eyes. Think, then, of the awful results of this 
terrible sin, and fly from temptation as from a burning 
house. Send up a prayer to God to deliver you from 
temptation, and you will not fall. Every battle manfully 
and successfully fought, will add new strength to your 
resolution and force to your character. Gaining such 
victories from day to day, you will grow up to be a pure, 
noble, useful man, the grandest work of God, and will 
live a happy, virtuous life yourself, and add to the hap* 
piness of those around you. 


A Chapter for Young Men. 


T about the age of fifteen years, the lad begins 
P|T to assume the characteristics of the young man. 
The shoulders broaden, the voice deepens, a 
rapid growth in hight and an increase in weight 
occurs, and slight symptoms of a beard make their ap- 
pearance. The physiological changes which take place 
in the body at this time are of serious import, and exert 
a profound influence upon all parts of the body, The 
sexual functions, which have heretofore been wholly 
placid, provided the individual has been reared nor- 
mally, now become more active, as indicated by the in* 
creased development of the organs. There is not, 
necessarily, however, any functional activity or excite- 
ment of the sexual system. If properly educated, and 
surrounded by the proper influences, a boy of this age 
will know nothing of the overwhelming excitements 
of the sexual functions ; and for some years longer, 
these organs are by nature intended to remain pas- 
sive, no natural demand for their use occurring until 
after the body has attained full maturity. 

Unfortunately, however, the natural order of things 
is too frequently interfered with through the influence of 
evil companions, and the majority of boys become more 
or less contaminated morally long before this period. 
Fortunate, indeed, is the boy who at the attainment 



of puberty has acquired no form of sexual vice. The 
nature of these vices, and the manner in which they 
have been acquired, has been fully considered in another 
chapter. The facts there stated, need not here be re- 

It is important, however, to emphasize the fact that 
at this period the natural development of the sexual 
organs renders them peculiarly liable to excitement, and 
hence those who have up to this time been so fortu- 
nate as to escape the acquirement of any evil practice, 
are now liable to make the fatal discovery, which 
may be the means of effecting their physical and moral 
ruin. Hence it is important for parents to set about 
their boys at this time the most careful safeguards, to 
warn them of the evils they are likely to encounter, and 
by good council, to fortify them against the tempta- 
tions they are sure to meet. It is also important for 
young men who are passing through this dangerous 
epoch of life, to appreciate, as they are very apt not to 
do, the dangers which threaten them, and the impor- 
tance of receiving and implicitly obeying the good council 
of parents and wise friends, which their superior expe- 
rience is capable of giving them. 

Pure Manners, — One of the greatest safeguards 
against the dangers surrounding this critical period, is that 
sensitiveness to grossness and vulgarity which is the re- 
sult of the cultivation from earliest childhood of purity 
of manners. A boy who has been accustomed to in- 
dulge in vulgar, gross, obscene, or profane language, 
is very likely to fall into evil practices ; while a boy 
who has always cultivated gentlemanly manners, purity 
of speech, etc., will, on the other hand, be very unlikely 


to yield to the temptations which are thrown about 

Irreligion. — The lad who scoffs at religion, who pre- 
sumes to mock at piety, who has no interest in the Sab- 
bath-school, and who attends church only when com- 
pelled to do so, is in a fair way to become addicted to 
all sorts of iniquities. Probably there is not one in a 
hundred among boys of this class who does not become 
addicted to some form of vice. Religion is the best of 
all safeguards against these debasing vices, as well as 
all other forms of sin, and no young man can afford to 
begin his career in life without the aid to be afforded by 
genuine religion ; and of all helps which can be obtained, 
religious influences, through the Sabbath-school, church, 
etc., are the greatest. 

The growing disregard for religion among young men is 
one of the most characteristic features of the time, and 
this tendency accounts in part for the almost universal prev- 
alence of sexual vices among young men of the pres- 
ent day. 

Wrong Ideas about Women.— From what the author 
has learned through conversation with hundreds of young 
men who have been under his professional care, he is 
convinced that most of them entertain a very incor- 
rect idea respecting young women. While there are 
undoubtedly many exceptions, it is certainly true that 
among the better class of refined and cultivated ladies, 
the sexual passions are comparatively dormant. The 
young man who allows his sexual passions to predom- 
inate his thoughts and to a large extent his conduct, is 
wholly in error in thinking the average woman is a creat- 
ure after his own sort. 


The author has met several instances in which he 
had every reason to believe that young women who had 
been led from the path of virtue, had not been actuated 
by the desire for sexual gratification, but were led astray 
through a desire to please those who had won their 

There are, of course, plenty of young women whose 
minds and manners have been corrupted by evil associa- 
tions, and this class are undoubtedly responsible for the 
grossly incorrect estimate which most young men form 
of the character of young women ; and these young wo- 
men have undoubtedly led into vice many young men 
who otherwise might have escaped. Certainly, young 
men must not be charged with being the only emissa- 
ries of vice. A good many cases have come to the 
knowledge of the author in which "hired girls" of 
" loose morals " have led into evil ways boys just ap- 
proaching manhood, who had previously been wholly 
ignorant of vice. 

Sowing Wild Oats, — A vast deal of harm comes 
through the opinion prevalent in the world that a young 
man may " sow his wild oats " for a few months or a 
few years without doing himself very much harm, and 
without lessening his chances for success in life. The 
fact that hundreds of young men do run wild for awhile, 
going into all sorts of wickedness, frequenting the sa- 
loon and gambling table, and the lowest haunts of vice, 
and yet are received back into good society, if indeed 
they are not all the while recognized as " real good 
fellows," though unfortunately a little " fast," and placed 
on equal footing with those who have never gone astray, 
is no excuse for such a course. Indeed, there are 


plenty of women who express a decided preference for 
these fast young men, and consider a moderate degree 
of wickedness as quite an accomplishment, rather than 
a shame and a disgrace, as it should be to every intelli- 
gent and pure-minded woman. 

The young man who imagines he can sow wild oats 
even for a brief period without suffering serious injury, 
will find himself greatly mistaken if he makes the at- 
tempt. Let him consider before he begins this evil course, 
that a single act of sin may cost him a life of wretched- 
ness, morally and physically. Every physician of 
experience has seen plenty of cases in which the first 
act of sexual indulgence was the means of the contrac- 
tion of some horrible disease which resulted in the total 
blighting for life of all prospects for happiness. 

The mental, moral, and physical scars accompanying 
a fast life, even though continued but a short time, are 
often ineradicable, and are carried by the patient through 
a life of bitter repentance. 

Another fact for the benefit of those who think 
lightly on this subject : Steps taken in the direction of 
a sensual life are not easily retraced. The libertine, 
after he has once started in a career of vice, frequently 
forgets his resolutions to reform after a brief period of 
self-indulgence, and plunges deeper and deeper into vice, 
until all desire for reformation has been dissipated, or 
until the power to reform is at last totally paralyzed. 
No truer words were ever uttered than those of the wise 
man ; " As for him that wanteth understanding, she 
saith to him : stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten 
in secret is pleasant. But he knoweth not that the 
dead are there ; and that her guests are in the depths 



Getting Married. — The majority of young women 
expect sooner or later to marry. Many are altogether 
in too much of a hurry to consummate the most important 
of all the acts of their lives, and rush into matrimony as 
though it were a matter of the most trifling consequence. 
Marriage is not regarded with that respect which the 
sacredness of this Heaven-born institution properly de- 
mands. The ease by which divorces can be obtained, 
has undoubtedly contributed much to the hasty manner 
in which this step is taken, and it is to be hoped that 
some means may be devised by which this growing evil 
may be checked. 

We do not propose to offer a long homily on the 
subject of marriage, but have a few words of advice 
which may possibly be of service. 

1. Be careful to prepare for marriage by making 
yourself worthy of a good, pure woman. Cultivate 
honesty, sincerity, and purity of thought and manners, 
and a generous variety of those graces and qualities 
which serve to make up a good and useful man. 

2. Do not allow yourself to be captivated by fine 
clothes and a pretty face, or a piquant manner and an 
artful smile. All these qualities are superficial, and not 
correct guides to form an estimate of character. Seek 
real moral worth, real solidity of character, genuineness, 
sincerity, faithfulness, and simplicity. These are qual- 
ities which will form a firm, substantial basis for genuine 

3. Avoid a young woman devoted to fashion; who 
finds her chief enjoyment in balls, theaters, and fashion- 
able dissipation. Young women of this class are in a 
state of ill health mentally and morally and usually phys- 


ically, and are utterly deficient in the qualities essential 
to the making of a good wife. 

4. We may also suggest the importance of health, 
of physical and mental adaptation, of proper relation as re- 
gards age ; but these are all points which will readily 
occur to the mind of any young man possessed of a fair 
share of good judgment and common sense, and need 
not be dwelt upon here. 

The Young Husband. — After you have married a 
lady, and pledged yourself in the most solemn manner 
to love, cherish, and protect her, see to it that you do 
not, within a few weeks, forget your marriage vow. 
Too many young men take a wife as they would buy a 
horse, or any other piece of property, and imagine that 
as soon as the ceremony is over, the young woman 
becomes their private property, and that they are at 
liberty to do what they please. Every husband should 
recollect that marriage gives him no proprietorship over 
his wife. Marriage is simply a contract between two in- 
dividuals, who agree to work in harmony for each other's 
mutual advancement and interest. Each one pledges 
himself to protect the rights and regard the interests of 
the other. 

Think of this, young man, and regulate your con- 
duct accordingly. First of all, make up your mind that 
you will not make a beast of yourself. Too many 
young men behave themselves in such a beastly manner 
during the first week of their married life, that they 
forfeit all right to the respect of their wives, and not 
infrequently a young woman who, previous to mar- 
riage, regarded her affianced as the embodiment of al] 
that is good and pure and noble, has her mental and 


moral sensibilities so shocked by gross and brutal 
behavior as soon as the marriage ceremony has placed 
her in his power, that her love for him is totally ex- 
hausted, and often so effectively that it can never be 

Bear this fact in mind, young man. Curb your pas- 
sions. Control your propensities, and years hence you 
will look back upon your conduct with a satisfaction 
which will increase your self-respect, and as you reflect 
upon the matter, the wealth of a Rothschild would not 
purchase from you the satisfaction of thinking that you 
acted the part of a man, rather than that of a beast. 

The brutal conduct of husbands, even on the first 
aight of marriage, not infrequently entails upon their 
wives a lifetime of suffering. Such individuals are quite 
unworthy the name of men. They are fit only to be 
classed with the rakes who violate defenseless virgins, 
and treat women as though they were made for no other 
purpose than the gratification of the beastly propensities 
of brutal men. 

If you have a good wife, cherish her, behave yourself 
in such a way as to command her esteem and respect ; 
and you may be sure she will be true to you, and the 
happiness she may bring to you will more than compen- 
sate for the pains you can take to cultivate her love 
and her respect. A great share of the infelicity of 
married people grows out of the fact that as soon as the 
honey-moon is past, and often immediately after the 
ceremony is over, they cease to act like men and women, 
and begin to conduct themselves like children. In con- 
sequence, they soon lose their respect for one another, 
and all sorts of disagreements and difficulties arise. 


Always conduct yourself in such a way that you will be 
sure not to lose the respect of your wife, and you will 
thereby gain in self-respect, and will also have the 
esteem and respect of your fellow-men. 

4 Shwt Chapter for Old Ifen. 

:HEN has a man reached that age at which he 
may be said to be an old man ? There is a 
wonderful difference in individuals in respect 
to the period at which symptoms of decline 
make their appearance, much being due to previous habits 
of life, as well as individual peculiarities and hereditary 
predisposition. It may be said, however, that the 
average man enters upon that portion of his life usually 
denominated as old age, at about the age of fifty years. 
At this period his physical powers begin to show evi- 
dence of decline. His reserve fund of vitality, which 
is considerably less than at an earlier age, may still be 
sufficient to enable his system to perform all the functions 
of life with regularity, but he is unable to endure hard- 
ships as in previous years, and suffers sensibly whenever 
any extreme demand is made upon his vitality. 

He is a wise man who at this period of life, while 
his vital functions are still well performed, and the system 
subject to no special disease or debility, recognizes the 
fact that he is no longer young, and regulates himself 
accordingly. Such a man will lay down as his rule 
of life the greatest moderation in everything demand- 
ing vital expenditure, and will resolutely set his face 
against every form of unnecessary expenditure of vital 



A Dangerous Waste. — As has been pointed out 
elsewhere in this work, the exercise of the sexual func- 
tion is accompanied by the most exhausting expendi- 
ture of nervous and vital energy of which the body is 
capable. Such expenditures are entirely unnecessary 
to the health of the body, and hence it is evident that 
at this period of life, when the vital forces should be in 
every way economized, such indulgences should be dis- 

Physiology, on this account, prohibits the marriage 
of old men with young women and old women with 
young men. An old man who forms a union with a 
young girl scarce out of her teens, or even younger, can 
scarcely have any very elevated motive for his action, 
and he certainly exposes himself to the greatest risk of 
sudden death, while insuring his premature decay. A 
king once characterized such a course as " the pleasant- 
est form of suicide." It is doubtless suicidal ; but we 
suspect there are some phases of such an unnatural 
union which are not very enjoyable. 

One reason of the great danger of such marriages to 
the old, is the exhaustive effects of the sexual act. As 
previously noted, in some animals it causes immediate 
death. Dr. Acton makes the following pertinent re- 
marks : — 

" So serious, indeed, is the paroxysm of the nervous 
system produced by the sexual spasm, that its immediate 
effect is not always unattended with danger, and men 
with weak hearts have died in the act. Every now and 
then we learn that men are found dead on the night of 
their wedding." 

" However exceptional these cases are, they are 



warnings, and should serve to show that an act which 
may destroy the weak, should not be tampered with, even 
by the strong." 

" There are old men who marry young wives, and 
who pay the penalty by becoming martyrs to paralysis, 
softening of the brain, and driveling idiocy." 

Dr. Gardner quotes the Abbe Maury as follows : " I 
hold as certain that after fifty years of age a man of 
sense ought to renounce the pleasures of love. Each 
time that he allows himself this gratification is a pellet of 
earth thrown upon his coffin J 1 

Dr. Gardner further says : " Alliances of this sort 
have taken place in every epoch of humanity, from the 
time of the patriarchs to the present day, — alliances re- 
pugnant to nature, between men bordering on decrepi- 
tude and poor young girls, who are sacrificed by their 
parents for position, or who sell themselves for gold. 
There is in these monstrous alliances something which 
we know not how to brand sufficiently energetically, in 
considering the reciprocal relations of the pair thus 
wrongfully united, and the lot of children which may 
result from them. Let us admit, for an instant, that 
the marriage has been concluded with the full consent of 
the young girl, and that no external pressure has been 
exerted upon her will, — as is generally the rule, — it will 
none the less happen that reflection and experience will 
tardily bring regrets, and the sharper, as the evil will be 
without remedy ; but if compulsion, or what is often the 
same thing, persuasion, had been employed to obtain the 
consent which the law demands, the result would have 
been more prompt and vehement. From this moment 
the common life becomes odious to the unhappy victim, 


and culpable hopes will arise in her desolate heart, so 
heavy is the chain she carries. In fact, the love of the 
old man becomes ridiculous and horrid to her, and we 
cannot sufficiently sympathize with the unfortunate per- 
son whose duty [?] it is to submit to it. If we think of 
it an instant, we shall perceive a repulsion such as is 
only inspired by the idea of incest. ... So what do we 
oftenest observe ? Either the woman violently breaks 
the cursed bands, or she resigns herself to them, and 
then seeks to fill up the void in her soul by adulter- 
ous amours. Such is the somber perspective of the 
sacrilegious unions which set at defiance the most 
respectable instincts, the most noble desires, and the 
most legitimate hopes. Such, too, are the terrible 
chastisements reserved for the thoughtlessness or 
foolish pride of these dissolute grey-beards, who prodi- 
galize the last breath of their life in search of depraved 
voluptuousness ." 

The parents, the perpetrators of such an outrage 
against nature, are not the only sufferers. Look at the 
children which they bring into the world ! Let Dr. 
Gardner speak again : — 

" Children, the issue of old men, are habitually 
marked by a serious and sad air spread over their coun- 
tenances, which is manifestly very opposite to the in- 
fantile expression which so delights one in the little 
children of the same age engendered under other condi- 
tions. As they grow up, their features take on more and 
more the senile character, so much so that every one 
remarks it, and the world regards it as a natural thing. 
The old mothers pretend that it is an old head on young 
shoulders. They predict an early death to these chil- 


dren, and the event frequently justifies the horoscope. 
Our attention has for many years been fixed upon this 
point, and we can affirm that the greater part of the 
offspring of these connections are weak, torpid, lym- 
phatic, if not scrofulous, and do not promise a long 


In old age the seminal fluid becomes greatly deterio- 
rated. Even at the best, its component elements could 
only represent decrepitude and infirmity, degeneration 
and senility. In view of such facts, says Dr. Acton, — 

" We are therefore forced to the conclusion that 
the children of old men have an inferior chance of life ; 
and facts daily observed confirm our deductions. Look 
but at the progeny of such marriages ; what is its value ? 
As far as I have seen, it is the worst kind — spoilt child- 
hood, feeble and precocious youth, extravagant manhood, 
early and premature death." 

Cicero on Old Age. — Cicero, in his essay on Old 
Age, makes the following remarks, bearing directly on 
this subject : — 

" Another charge against old age is that it deprives 
us of sensual gratifications. Happy effect, indeed, to be 
delivered from those snares which allure youth into 
some of the worst vices ! ' Reason,' said Archytas, i is 
the noblest gift which God or nature has bestowed on 
man. Now nothing is so great an enemy to that divine 
endowment as the pleasures of sense ; for neither tem- 
perance, nor any of the more exalted virtues, can find 
place in that breast which is under the dominion of 
voluptuous passions. Imagine yourself a man in the 
actual enjoyment of the highest gratifications mere 
animal nature is capable of receiving ; there can be no 


doubt that during his continuance in that state, it would 
be utterly impossible for him to exert any one power of 
his rational faculties.' The inference I draw from this 
is, that if the principles of reason and virtue have not 
proved sufficient to inspire us with proper contempt for 
mere sensual pleasures, we have cause to feel grateful to 
old age for at last weaning us from appetites it would 
ill become us to gratify ; for voluptuous passions are 
bitter enemies to all the nobler faculties of the soul; 
they hold no communion with the manly virtues, and 
they cast a mist before the eye of reason. The little 
relish which old age leaves for enjoyments merely 
sensual, instead of being a disparagement to that period 
of life, considerably enhances its value." 

Says Parise, a distinguished French physician, in his 
work on old age : — 

" Love, at the decline of life, should take quite a 
moral character, freed from all its animal propensities. 
In the elderly man, it is paternal, conjugal, patriotic 
attachment, which, without being so energetic as the love 
experienced in youth, still warms old hearts and old 
age ; and, believe me, these have their sweet privileges, 
as well as sometimes their bitter realities. These autumn 
roses are not without perfume ; perhaps less intoxicating 
than that arising from first love, but presenting none of 
its dangers. 

"Unfortunately, there are those who, either more 
infatuated, more helplessly drifting on the tide of 
passion, or more depraved, use all their endeavors to 
realize desires which it is no longer possible to satisfy, 
unless by a forced compliance of the organs. Not only 
has the energy, the superfluous vitality of early days, 


disappeared, but the organic power of reproduction is 
nearly obliterated. Is all over then? Credat Judaeus, 
non ego. It is now that Venus Impudica lavishes on her 
used-up votaries her appetizing stimulants to vice and 
debauchery. The imagination, polluted with impurities, 
seeks pleasure which reason and good sense repudiate. 
There are instances of debauched and shameless old age 
which, deficient in vital resources, strives to supply their 
place by fictitious excitement ; a kind of brutish lasciv- 
iousness, that is ever the more cruelly punished by 
nature, from the fact that the immediately-ensuing 
debility is in direct proportion to the forced stimulation 
which has preceded it. 

" Reduced to the pleasures of recollection, at once 
passionate and impotent, their sensuality may kill, but 
cannot satiate. There are such old libertines who are 
constantly seeking after the means of revivifying their 
withered, used-up organism, as if that were possible 
without imminent danger. The law of nature is without 
appeal. To submit to it is the result of good, sound 
judgment, and the reward is speedy. But submission is 
no invariable rule, and persons of prudence and chastity 
have but a faint conception of the devices to evade it, of 
the folly, caprice, luxury, immodesty, the monstrous 
lewdness and indescribable saturnalia of the senses 
which are the result. The surgeon alone knows from 
the confession of his patients, or surmises from his 
experience, to what a depth corruption will descend, 
and the evils which will follow, particularly in large 
capitals. One of the most common means of excitement 
employed by these senile Lovelaces is change, variety 
in the persons they pursue. What is more fatal to the 


organism ? Extreme youth is sacrificed to these shame- 
less old men. The full-blown charms of fine women no 
longer suffice ; they address themselves to mere children, 
to the great scandal of our manners, and of all that these 
victims of debauchery hold dear and sacred. Neverthe- 
less, let it be remarked, it is seldom, very seldom, that 
punishment comes pede claudo ; old age, which disease 
changes every day into decrepitude — often sudden death, 
and death that lasts for years, a consequence of cruel 
infirmities — proves the justice of nature." 

A distinguished physician speaks upon this same 
subject as follows : — 

" When a young man, without any redeeming qual- 
ities, has run through a career of debauchery, when his 
adult age is but a new lease of similar associations, the 
necessity for additional excitement appears to goad him 
on. Fictitious desires increase, until it is impossible to 
say where shall be his acme of debauchery, or what 
devices may be invented by those in his pay ' to minister 
to a mind diseased.' This is particularly the case w r hen 
such a pampered, ill-directed, unrestrained will is accom- 
panied by unlimited wealth. For such an one, youth, 
innocence, and beauty soon cease to have attraction. 
Well has it been said of him, that ' the beast has 
destroyed the man.' Variety may for a time satisfy or 
stimulate his failing powers, but not for very long. 
Local stimulants are tried, and, after a short repetition, 
these also fail. As a last resource, unnatural excitement 
is brought to bear, and now public decency is forgotten, 
and we probably find that the first check to the lust of 
the opulent satyr is his finding himself the hero of some 
filthy police case, — then, maybe, a convict or a voluntary 


" As school-boys, we may have been accustomed to 
laugh at the fables of the grotesque sylvan monsters of 
antiquity, ignorant of what hideous truths of human 
nature their half-animal forms were the symbols. Even 
after sad experience has enlarged our knowledge of the 
possibilities of vice, few of us, happily, have any idea of 
how completely these bestial forms of ancient art repre- 
sent the condition of the satyrs who so notoriously affect 
the seclusion and the shade of the parks and gardens in 
modern cities. I question if a prison is the proper place 
for such debased individuals. As far as I have noticed 
their organization, I should say an uncontrolled giving 
way to the sexual passion has used up a frame never 
very strong. A constant drain on the nervous power 
has produced an effect which renders its subject indiffer- 
ent to consequences, provided his all-absorbing pursuit, 
namely, ministering to the excitement of his sexual 
passion, can be indulged in. Doubtless, in many in- 
stances, the brain has become affected, particularly when 
there exists a strong hereditary tendency to disease. 
This, together with deficiency of occupation, has caused 
many of these victims to their own feelings to make the 
pandering to their vile desires, and gratification of every 
sensuality their imagination can devise, the chief occu- 
pation of life. The medical man would hardly feel 
justified in certifying their fitness for a lunatic asylum, 
as in all other respects their conduct appears to be sane. 
Observing, as these persons do, all the other usual 
convenances of society, there is yet a something about 
them which marks them as thralls of a debasing pursuit. 
It is an error, however, to suppose that they often suffer 
from venereal disease. Your old debauches know too 


well the parties they have to deal with, and every 
precaution is taken to avoid the consequences. They 
are living and suffering specters whom, as some clever 
writer has observed, ' Death seems to forget to strike, 
because he believes them already in the tomb.' 

" It may, perhaps, be thought singular in my sug- 
gesting a moral based upon such vile practices as the 
above, but allusion to them may not be without benefit 
to those beginning life ; and I would say, Let those 
persons take warning who with an active imagination 
once enter upon a career of vice, and dream that at a 
certain spot they can arrest their progress. It is an old 
tale, and often told, that, although the slope of criminal- 
ity be easy and gradual, it is still ' le premier pas qui 
coute ; ' and he who launches himself on such a course, 
will acquire, as he goes velocity and force, until at last 
he cannot be stayed? 

From quite extensive observation, the author has no 
doubt that a large number of the inconveniences of 
advanced age, mental and physical, as well as numerous 
local difficulties, including bladder disorders and irrita- 
bility of the prostate, etc., are frequently the result of 
sexual excesses, not only during middle life, but contin- 
ued during advanced years. The following incident 
speaks for itself: — 

A Case in Point. — Some time ago a man of some 
prominence in the legal profession, sought an interview 
with the author. An hour was fixed, and at the time 
appointed he presented himself at the office, and after a 
few preliminary remarks, made the following statement : 
"I have been a man of great physical vigor, and for 
many years have devoted myself with great earnestness 


to my profession, and with most satisfactory results. I 
have suffered very little from bodily infirmities of any 
sort, until a few years back. Some four or five years 
ago I began to experience discomfort in the region of 
what I supposed to be the neck of the bladder, requiring 
me to relieve the bladder very frequently, both during 
the daytime and in the night. I sought relief by 
various means, but unsuccessfully, and had come to 
the belief that I was suffering with some serious disease 
of the bladder or the prostate. Remedies addressed to 
these organs did no good. I obtained a copy of one of 
your works [an early edition of this work], and found 
out the cause of my troubles. I am now between fifty 
and sixty years of age. From mere force of habit, 
I had continued indulging myself sexually as in early 
life, never thinking of the possibility of harm, just as I 
supposed most men did. While reading your work, I 
became convinced that this was the cause of my suffer- 
ing, particularly as I at once recalled that my suffering 
was greatly aggravated by indulgences of this sort, and 
that when an absence from home for some time necessi- 
tated abstinence, most of the symptoms disappeared. 
I at once adopted the principle of total abstinence which 
you recommend to men of my age, and with most 
gratifying results. I had thought to employ your serv- 
ices as a physician, but find myself entirely well, and 
not in need of treatment." 

Other cases of the same sort might be recounted. 
Undoubtedly there are thousands of elderly men suffer- 
ing in a similar way from the same cause. 

4 Chapter for Girls, 

:E have written this chapter especially for girls, 
and we sincerely hope that many will read it 
with an earnest desire to be benefited by so 
doing. The subject of which we have to write 
is a delicate one, and one which we regret exceedingly 
needs to be written about. But our experience as a 
physician has proven to us again and again that it is of 
the utmost importance that something be said, that words 
of warning should be addressed particularly to the girls 
and maidens just merging into womanhood, on a subject 
which vitally concerns not only their own future health 
and happiness, but the prosperity and destiny of the race. 
Probably no one can be better fitted to speak on this 
subject than the physician. A physician who has given 
careful attention to the health and the causes of ill-health 
of ladies, and who has had opportunities for observing 
the baneful influence exerted upon the bodies and minds 
of girls and young women by the evil practices of which 
it is our purpose here to treat, can better appreciate 
than can others the magnitude of the evil, and is better 
prepared to speak upon the subject understanding^ and 
authoritatively. Gladly would we shun the task which 
has been pressed upon us, but which we have long 
avoided, were it not for the sense of the urgent need of 
its performance of which our professional experience has 



thoroughly convinced us. We cannot keep our lips 
closed when our eyes are witnesses to the fact that thou- 
sands of the fairest and best of our girls and maidens are 
being beguiled into everlasting ruin by a soul-destroying 
vice which works unseen, and often so insidiously that 
its results are unperceived until the work of ruin is com- 

The nature of our subject necessitates that we should 
speak plainly, though delicately, and we shall endeavor 
to make our language comprehensible by any one old 
enough to be benefited by the perusal of this chapter. 
We desire that all who read these pages may receive 
lasting benefit by so doing. The subject is one upon 
which every girl ought to be informed, and to which she 
should give serious attention, so as to become intelli- 
gent concerning the evils and dangers to which girls 
are exposed from this source. 

Girlhood. — Nothing is so suggestive of innocence and 
purity as the simple beauty of girlhood when seen in its 
natural freshness, though too seldom, now-a-days, is it 
possible to find in our young girls the natural grace and 
healthy beauty which were common among the little 
maidens of a quarter of a century ago. The ruddy cheeks, 
bright eyes, and red lips, which are indicative of a high 
degree of healthy vigor, are not so often seen to-day as 
formerly among the small girls in our public schools, and 
passing to and fro upon the streets. The pale cheeks, 
languid eyes, and almost colorless lips which we more 
often see, indicate weakly constitutions and delicate 
health, and prophesy a short and suffering life to many. 
Various causes are at work to produce this unfortunate 
decline ; and while we hope that in the larger share of 


cases, bad diet, improper clothing, confinement in poorly 
ventilated rooms with too little exercise, and similar 
causes, are the active agents, we are obliged to recognize 
the fact that there is in far too many cases another 
cause, the very mention of which makes us blush with 
shame that its existence should be possible. But of 
this we shall speak again presently. 

Real girls are like the opening buds of beauti- 
ful flowers. The beauty and fragrance of the full- 
blossomed rose scarcely exceeds the delicate loveliness of 
the swelling bud which shows between the sections of its 
bursting calyx the crimson petals tightly folded beneath. 
So the true girl possesses in her sphere as high a degree 
of attractive beauty as she can hope to attain in after 
years, though of a different character. But genuine 
girls are scarce. Really natural little girls are al- 
most as scarce as real boys. Too many girls begin at a 
very early age to attempt to imitate the pride and 
vanity manifested by older girls and young ladies. It 
is by many supposed that to be ladylike should be the 
hight of the ambition of girls as soon as they are old 
enough to be taught respecting propriety of behavior, 
which is understood to mean that they must appear as 
unnatural as possible in attempting to act like grown-up 
ladies. Many mothers who wish their daughters to be 
models of perfection, but whose ideas of perfect deport- 
ment are exceedingly superficial in character, dress up 
their little daughters in fine clothing, beautiful to look at, 
but very far from what is required for health and comfort, 
and then continually admonish the little ones that they 
must keep very quiet and " act like little ladies." Such 
a course is a most pernicious one. It fosters pride and 


vanity, and inculcates an entirely wrong idea of what it 
is to be ladylike, to be true to nature as a girl. Such 
artificial training is damaging alike to mind and body; 
and it induces a condition of mind and of the physical 
system which is very conducive to the encouragement 
of dangerous tendencies. 

How to Develop Beauty and Loveliness.— All little 
girls want to be beautiful. Girls in general care much 
more for their appearance than do boys. They have 
finer tastes, and greater love for whatever is lovely and 
beautiful. It is a natural desire, and should be encour- 
aged. A pure, innocent, beautiful little girl is the most 
lovely of all God's creatures. All are not equally beau- 
tiful, however, and cannot be ; but all may be beautiful 
to a degree that will render them attractive. Let all 
little girls who want to be pretty, handsome, or good- 
looking, give attention, and we will tell them how. 
Those who are homely should listen especially, for all 
may become good-looking, though all cannot become re- 
markably beautiful. First of all, it is necessary that 
the girl who wishes to be handsome, to be admired, 
should be good. She must learn to love what is right 
and true. She must be pure in mind and act. She 
must be simple in her manners, modest in her deport- 
ment, and kind in her ways. 

Second in importance, though scarcely so, is the ne- 
cessity of health. No girl can long be beautiful without 
health ; and no girl who enjoys perfect health can be 
really ugly in appearance. A healthy countenance is 
always attractive. Disease wastes the rounded features, 
bleaches out the roses from the cheeks and the Vermill- 
ion from the lips. It destroys the luster of the eye, and 


the elasticity of the step. Health is essential to beauty. 
In fact, if we consider goodness as a state of moral 
health, then health is the one great requisite of beauty. 

Health is attained and preserved by the observance 
of those natural laws which the Creator has appointed 
for the government of bur bodies. The structure of 
these bodies we may do well to study for a few mo- 

The Human Form Divine. — Go with us to one of 
the large cities, and we will show you one of the most 
marvelous pieces of mechanism ever invented, a triumph 
of ingenuity, skill, and patient, persevering labor for 
many years. This wonderful device is a clock which 
will run more than one hundred years. It is so con- 
structed that it indicates not only the time of day, the 
day of the month and year, itself making all the neces- 
sary changes for leap year, but shows the motions of the 
earth around the sun, together with the movements and 
positions of all the other planets, and many other mar- 
velous things. When it strikes at the end of each hour, 
groups of figures go through a variety of curious move- 
ments most closely resembling the appearance and 
actions of human beings. 

The maker of this remarkable clock well deserves 
the almost endless praise which he receives for his skill 
and patience ; for his work is certainly wonderful ; but 
the great clock, with its curious and complicated mech- 
anism, is a coarse and bungling affair when compared 
with the human body. The clock doubtless contains 
thousands of delicate wheels and springs, and is con- 
structed with all the skill imaginable ; and yet the 
structure of the human body is infinitely more delicate. 


The clock has no intelligence ; but a human being can 
hear, see, feel, taste, touch, and think. The clock does 
only what its maker designed to have it do, and can do 
nothing else. The human machine is a living mechan- 
ism ; it can control its own movements, can do as it will, 
within certain limits. What is very curious indeed, the 
human machine has the power to mend itself, so that 
when it needs repairs it is not necessary to send it to a 
shop for the purpose, but all that is required is to give 
nature an opportunity, and the system repairs itself. 

A Wonderful Process.— We have not space to de- 
scribe all the wonderful structures of this human ma- 
chine, but must notice particularly one of its most cu- 
rious features, a provision by which other human beings, 
living machines like itself, are produced. All living crea- 
tures possess this power. A single potato placed in the 
ground becomes a dozen or more, by a process of mul- 
tiplying. A little seed planted in the earth grows up to 
be a plant, produces flowers, and from the flowers come 
other seeds, — not one, but often a great many, sometimes 
hundreds from a single seed. Insects, fishes, birds, and 
all other animals, thus multiply. So do human beings, 
and in a similar manner. The organs by which this 
most marvelous process is carried on in plants and an- 
imals, including also human beings, are called sexual or- 
gans. Flowers are the sexual organs of plants. 

Human Buds. — A curious animal which lives near 
the sea-shore, in shallow water, attached to a rock like 
a water plant, puts out little buds, which grow awhile 
and then drop off, and after a time become large individ- 
uals like the parent, each in turn producing buds like 
the one from which it grew. Human beings are formed 


by a similar process. Human buds are formed by an 
organ for the purpose possessed only by the female sex, 
and these, under proper circumstances, develop into in- 
fant human beings. The process, though so simply 
stated, is a marvelously complicated one, which cannot 
be fully explained here ; indeed, it is one of the mys- 
teries which it is beyond the power of human wisdom 
fully to explain. 

The production of these human buds is one of the 
most important and sacred duties of woman. It is 
through this means that she becomes a mother, which 
is one of the grandest and noblest functions of woman- 
hood. It is the motherly instinct that causes little girls 
to show such a fondness for dolls, — a perfectly natural 
feeling, which may be encouraged to a moderate degree 
without injury. 

How Beauty is Marred.— As already remarked^ 
mental, moral, and physical health are the requisites 
for true beauty, and to secure these, obedience to all 
the laws of health is required. The most beautiful 
face is soon marred when disease begins its ravages in 
the body. The most beautiful character is as speedily 
spoiled by the touch of moral disease, or sin. The face 
is a mirror of the mind, the character ; and a mind full 
of evil, impure thoughts is certain to show itself in the 
face in spite of the rosy cheeks and dimples, ruby lips 
and bewitching smiles. The character is written on the 
face as plainly as the face can be pictured by an artist 
on canvass. 

To be more explicit, the girl who disregards the laws 
of health, who eats bad food, eats at all hours or at un- 
seasonable hours, sits up late at night, attends fashiona- 



ble parties, and indulges in the usual means of dissipa- 
tion there afforded, dancing, wine, rich suppers, etc., 
who carefully follows the fashions in her dress, lacing 
her waist to attain the fashionable degree of slenderness, 
wearing thin, narrow-toed gaiters with French heels, and 
insufficiently clothing the limbs in cold weather, and who 
in like manner neglects to comply with the requirements 
of health in other important particulars, may be certain 
that sooner or later, certainly at no distant day, she will 
become as unattractive and homely as she can wish not 
to be. Girls and young ladies who eat largely of fat 
meat, rich cakes and pies, confectionery, ice-cream, 
and other dietetic abominations, cannot avoid becom- 
ing sallow and hollow-eyed. The cheeks may be ever 
so plump and rosy, they will certainly lose their fresh- 
ness, and become hollow and thin. Chalk and rouge will 
not hide the defect; for everybody will discover the fraud, 
and will of course know the reason why it is practiced. 

A Beauty-Destroying Vice.— But by far the worst 
enemy of beauty and health of body, mind, and soul, we 
have not yet mentioned. It is a sin concerning which 
we would gladly keep silence ; but we cannot see so 
many of our most beautiful and promising girls and 
young ladies annually being ruined, often for this world 
and the next alike, without uttering the word of warning 

As before remarked, the function of maternity, which 
is the object of the sexual system in woman, when 
rightly exercised, is the most sacred and elevated office 
which a woman can perform for the world. The woman 
who is a true mother, has an opportunity of doing for 
the race more than all other human agencies combined. 


The mother's influence is the controlling influence in the 
world. The mother molds the character of her children. 
She can make of their plastic minds almost what she 
will if she is herself prepared for the work. On the 
other hand, misuse or abuse of the sexual organism is 
visited in girls and women, as in boys and men, with the 
most fearful penalties. Nothing will sooner deprive a 
girl or young lady of the maidenly grace and freshness 
with which nature blesses woman in her early years, 
than secret vice. 

We have the greatest difficulty in making ourself 
believe that it is possible for beings, designed by nature 
to be pure and innocent, in all respects free from impu- 
rity of any sort, to become so depraved by sin as to be 
willing to devote themselves to so vile and filthy a 
practice. Yet the frequency with which cases have 
come under our observation, which clearly indicate the 
alarming prevalence of the practice, even among girls 
and young women who would naturally be least suspected, 
compels us to recognize the fact. The testimony of 
many eminent physicians whose opportunities for obser- 
vation have been very extensive, shows that the evil is 
enormously greater than people generally are aware. 
Instructors of the youth, of large experience, assert the 
same. Nor is the evil greater in America than in some 
other countries. One writer declares that the vice is 
almost universal among the girls of Russia, which may 
be due to the low condition in which the women of that 
country are kept. 

Terrible Effects of Secret Vice.— The awful effects 
of this sin against God and nature become speedily 
visible in those who are guilty of it. The experienced 


eye needs no confession on the part of the victim to 
read the whole story of sinful indulgence and consequent 
disease. The vice stamps its insignia upon the counte- 
nance ; it shows itself in the walk, in the changed dis- 
position, and the loss of healthy vigor. It is not only 
impossible for a victim of this sinful practice to hide 
from the all-seeing eye of God the vileness perpetrated 
in secret, but it is also useless to attempt to hide from 
human eyes the awful truth. 

Headache, side-ache, back-ache, pains in the chest, 
and wandering pains in various parts of the body, — 
these are but a few of the painful ailments from which 
girls who are guilty of this sin suffer. Tenderness 
of the spine, which causes great solicitude on the part 
of parents and physicians, who fear that serious disease 
is threatening the life of a loved daughter, not infre- 
quently originates in this way. Much of the hysteria 
which renders wretched the lives of thousands of young 
ladies and the fond friends who are obliged to care for 
and attend them, arises from sexual transgression of the 
kind of which we are speaking. The blanched cheeks, 
hollow, expressionless eyes, and rough, pimply skins of 
many school-girls, are due to this cause alone. We do 
not mean by this to intimate that every girl who has 
pimples upon her face is guilty of secret vice ; but this 
sin is undoubtedly a very frequent cause of the unpleas- 
ant eruption which so often appears upon the foreheads 
of both sexes. It would be very unjust, however, to 
charge a person with the sin unless some further evidence 
than that of an eruption on the face was afforded. 

The inability to study, to apply themselves in any 
way except when stimulated by something of a very 


exciting character, which many girls exhibit, is in a 
large proportion of cases due to the practice of which we 
are writing. Often enough the effects which are attrib- 
uted to overstudy, are properly due to this debasing 
habit. We have little faith in the great outcry made in 
certain quarters about the damaging effects of study 
upon the health of young ladies. A far less worthy 
cause is in many cases the true one, to which is attrib- 
utable the decline in health at a critical period when all 
the vital forces of the system are necessarily called into 
action to establish a new function. 

Hundreds of girls break down in health just as they 
are entering womanhood. At from twelve to eighteen 
years of age the change naturally occurs which trans- 
forms the girl into a woman by the development of 
functions previously latent. This critical period is one 
through which every girl in health ought to pass with 
scarcely any noticeable disturbance ; and if, during the 
previous years of life, the laws of health were observed, 
there would seldom be any unusual degree of suffering 
at this time. Those who have before this period been 
addicted to the vile habit of which we are writing, will 
almost invariably show at this time evidences of the in- 
jury which has been wrought. The unnatural excite- 
ment of the organs before the period of puberty, lays the 
foundation for life-long disease. When that critical 
epoch arrives, the organs are found in a state of conges- 
tion often bordering on inflammation. The increased 
congestion which naturally occurs at this time in many 
cases, is sufficient to excite most serious disease. 

Here is the beginning of a great many of the special 
diseases which are the bane and shame of the sex. Dis- 


placements of various sorts, congestions, neuralgia of the 
ovaries, leucorrhoea, or whites, and a great variety of 
kindred maladies, are almost certain to make their ap- 
pearance at this period or soon after in those who have 
been guilty of self-abuse. If the evil influences already 
at work are augmented by tight-lacing, improper dressing 
of the extremities, hanging heavy skirts upon the hips, 
and fashionable dissipation generally, the worst results 
are sure to follow, and the individual is elected to be a 
subject for the doctors during a good portion of her life. 

A talented writer some time since contributed to a 
popular magazine an article entitled, " The Little Health 
of Women," which contained many excellent hints 
respecting the influences at work to undermine the 
health and destroy the constitutions of American women ; 
but he did not even hint at this potent cause, which we 
firmly believe is responsible for a far greater share 
of the local disease and general poor health of girls, 
young women, and married ladies, than has been gener- 
ally recognized. These are startling facts, but we are 
prepared to substantiate them. 

Remote Effects, — Not all the effects of vice appear 
in girlhood, nor even during early life. Frequently it 
is not until the girl is grown up to be a wife and mother 
that she begins to appreciate fully the harm that has 
been wrought. At this time, when new demands are 
made upon the sexual organism, when its proper duties 
are to be performed, there is a sudden failure ; new 
weaknesses and diseases make their appearance, new 
pains and sufferings are felt, which no woman who has not 
in some way seriously transgressed the laws of health will 
suffer. In not a few instances it is discovered that the 


individual is wholly unfitted for the duties of maternity. 
Often, indeed, maternity is impossible, the injury result- 
ing from the sins committed being so great as to render 
the diseased organism incapable of the functions re- 

In the great majority of cases, these peculiar diffi- 
culties, morbid conditions, and incapacities are attribu- 
ted to overwork, overstudy, " taking cold," " getting the 
feet wet," or some other cause wholly inadequate to 
account for the diseased conditions present, although in 
many instances it may be true that some such unfortu- 
nate circumstance may be the means of precipitating the 
effects of previous sin upon organs already relaxed, 
debilitated, and thus prepared readily to take on disease. 

Causes which Lead Girls Astray.— The predispos- 
ing causes of sexual vice have already been dwelt upon 
so fully in this volume that we shall devote little space 
to the subject here. We may, however, mention a few 
of the special causes which seem to be most active in 
leading to the formation of evil habits among girls. 

Vicious Companions. — Girls are remarkably suscep- 
tible to influence by those of their own age. A vicious 
girl who makes herself agreeable to those with whom she 
associates, can exert more influence over many of her 
companions than can any number of older persons. 
Even a mother rarely has the influence over her daugh- 
ter that is maintained by the girl whom she holds as 
her bosom friend. The close friendships which are 
formed between girls of the same age are often highly 
detrimental in character. Each makes a confidant of 
the other, and thus becomes estranged from the only 
one competent to give counsel and advice, and the one 


who of all others is worthy of a young girl's confidence, 
— her mother. 

From these unfortunate alliances often arise most 
deplorable evils. Vicious companions not infrequently 
sow the seeds of evil habits far and wide, contamin- 
ating all who come within their influence. 

Whom to Avoid, — A girl will always do well to 
avoid a companion who is vain, idle, silly, or frivo- 
lous. Girls who have these evil characteristics, are very 
likely to have others also which are worse. A girl who 
is rude in her manners, careless in her habits, irreverent 
and disobedient to parents and teachers, is always an 
unsafe companion. No matter how pretty, witty, 
stylish, or aristocratic she may be, she should be 
shunned. Her influence will be withering, debasing, 
wherever felt. A girl may be gay and thoughtless 
without being vicious ; but the chances are ten to one 
that she will become sinful unless she changes her ways. 
Sentimental Books. — The majority of girls love to 
read, but, unfortunately, the kind of literature of which 
they are often fond is not of a character which will 
elevate, refine, or in any way benefit them. Story- 
books, romances, love tales, and religious novels consti- 
tute the chief part of the reading matter which Amer- 
ican young ladies greedily devour. We have known 
young ladies still in their teens who had read whole 
libraries of the most exciting novels. 

The taste for novel-reading is like that for liquor or 
opium. It is never satiated. It grows with gratifica- 
tion. A confirmed novel-reader is almost as difficult to 
reform as a confirmed inebriate or opium-eater. The 
influence upon the mind is most damaging and pernicious. 


It not only destroys the love for solid, useful reading, 
but excites the emotions, and in many cases keeps the 
passions in a perfect fever of excitement. The confes- 
sions of young women who were to all appearance 
the most circumspect in every particular, and who no 
one mistrusted could be capable of vile thoughts, have 
convinced us that this evil is more prevalent than many, 
even of those who are quite well informed, would 
be willing to admit. 

By reading of this kind many are led to resort 
to self-abuse for the gratification of passions which over- 
stimulation has made almost uncontrollable. Some have 
thus been induced to sin who had never been injured by 
other influences, but discovered the fatal secret them- 
selves. Mothers cannot be too careful of the character 
of the books which their daughters read. Every book, 
magazine, and paper should be carefully scrutinized, 
unless its character is already well known, before it is 
allowed to be read. In our opinion, some of the litera- 
ture which passes as standard, and is often found on 
parlor center-tables and in family and school libraries, 
such as Chaucer's poems and other writings of a kindred 
character, is unfit for perusal by inexperienced and un- 
sophisticated young ladies. Some of this literature is 
actually too vile for any one to read, and if written to- 
day by any poet of note, would cause his works to be 
committed to the stove and rag-bag in spite of his repu- 

Various Causes. — Bad diet, the use of stimulating 
and exciting articles of food, late suppers, confectionery, 
and dainties, — all these have a very powerful influence 
in the wrong direction, by exciting functions which 


ought to be kept as nearly latent as possible. The 
use of tea and coffee by young ladies cannot be too 
strongly condemned. Improper dress, by causing local 
congestion, often predisposes to secret vice by occasion- 
ing local excitement. Probably a greater cause than 
any of those last mentioned is too great familiarity with 
the opposite sex. The silly letters which girls some- 
times receive from the boys and young men of their 
acquaintance, and which they encourage by letters of a 
similar character, must be condemned in the most thor- 
ough manner. Upon receiving such a letter, a pure- 
minded girl will consider herself insulted. The child- 
ish flirtations in which boys and girls sometimes indulge, 
often lead to evils of a most revolting character. 

Modesty Woman's Safe-Guard.— True modesty and 
maidenly reserve are the best guardians of virtue. The 
girl who is truly modest, who encourages and allows no 
improper advances, need have no fear of annoyance from 
this source. She is equally safe from temptation to sin 
which may come to her in secret, when no human eye 
can behold. Maidenly modesty is one of the best qual- 
ities which any young lady can possess. A young 
woman who lacks modesty, who manifests boldness of 
manner and carelessness in deportment, is not only lia- 
ble to have her virtue assailed by designing and unscru- 
pulous men, but is herself likely to fall before the temp- 
tation to indulge in secret sin, which is certain to present 
itself in some way sooner or later. 

This invaluable protection is speedily lost by the 
girl who abandons herself to secret vice. The chances 
are very great, also, that by degrees her respect and 
Jove for virtue and chastity will diminish until she is 


open to temptations to indulge in less secret sin ; and 
thus she travels down the road of vice until she finds 
herself at last an inmate of a brothel or an outcast wan- 
derer, rejected by friends, and lost to virtue, purity, and 
all that a true woman holds most dear. 

A Few Sad Cases. — Although we do not believe it 
right to harrow the feelings of those who have sinned 
and suffered with a rehearsal of sad cases when no good 
can be accomplished by such accounts, we deem it but 
just that those who are not yet entangled in the meshes 
of vice should have an opportunity of knowing the act- 
ual results of sin, and profiting by the sad experience of 
others. It is for this purpose that we shall mention a 
few cases which have come under our observation, tak- 
ing care to avoid mentioning any facts which might lead 
to identification, as the facts we shall use were, many of 
them, received in strict confidence from those who were 
glad to unburden their hearts to some one, but had never 
dared to do so, even to their friends. 

A Pitiful Case,— Several years ago we received a 
letter from a young woman in a distant State in which 
she described her case as that of an individual who had 
early become addicted to secret vice, and had continued 
the vile habit until that time, when she was about thirty- 
two years of age. In spite of the most solemn vows to 
reform, she still continued the habit, and had become 
reduced to such a miserable condition that she would 
almost rather die than live. She sent with her letter 
photographs representing herself at twenty and at that 
time, so that we might see the contrast. It' was indeed 
appalling to see what changes sin had wrought. Her 
face, once fair and comely, had become actually haggard 


with vice. Purity, innocence, grace, and modesty were 
no longer visible there. The hard lines of sin had oblit- 
erated every trace of beauty, and produced a most re- 
pulsive countenance. Though greatly depraved and 
shattered by sin and consequent disease in body and 
mind, she still had some desire to be cured, if possi- 
ble, and made a most pitiful appeal for help to escape 
from her loathsome condition. We gave her the best 
counsel we could under the circumstances, and did all in 
our power to rescue her from her living death; but 
whether in any degree successful we cannot tell, as we 
have never heard from the poor creature since. 

We have often wished that we might but show 
those two pictures to every girl who has been tempted 
to sin in this way, to all who have ever yielded to this 
awful vice. The terrible contrast would certainly pro- 
duce an impression which no words can do. We sent 
them back to their wretched original, however, by her 
request, and so cannot show the actual pictures ; but 
when any who read these lines are tempted thus to sin, 
we beg of them to think of these two pictures, and by 
forming a vivid image of them in the mind, drive away 
the disposition to do wrong. 

A Mind Dethroned,— A young lady who had re- 
ceived every advantage which could be given her by 
indulgent parents, and who naturally possessed most ex- 
cellent talents, being a fine musician, and naturally so 
bright and witty as to be the life of every company in 
which she moved, suddenly began to show strange 
symptoms of mental unsoundness. She would some- 
times be seized with fits of violence, during which 
it was with great difficulty that she could be controlled. 


Several times she threatened the lives of her nurses, and 
even on one occasion attempted to execute her threat, 
the person's life being saved by mere accident. Every- 
thing was done for her that could be done, but the 
mania increased to such a degree of violence that she 
was sent to an asylum for the insane. Here she re- 
mained for months before she became sufficiently tracta- 
ble to be taken to her home and cared for by friends. 
Too close application to study was the cause at first 
assigned for her mental disorder ; but a careful investiga- 
tion of the case revealed the fact that the terrible sin 
which has ruined the minds of so many promising young 
men and brilliant young women, was the cause that led 
to the sad result in this case also. The punishment of 
sin, especially of sexual sins, is indeed terrible ; but the 
sin is a fearful one, and the penalty must be equal to 
the enormity of the crime. Not all young women who 
indulge thus will become insane, but any one who trans- 
gresses in this way may be thus punished. There is no 
safety but in absolute purity. 

A Penitent Victim. — A young woman who had been 
ill for years, and whose physicians had sought in vain 
to cure her various ailments, until her parents almost 
despaired of her ever being anything but a helpless invalid, 
came to us for treatment, resolved upon making a last 
effort for help. She had grown up in utter ignorance of 
the laws of health, and of the results of the vice of which 
we are writing ; and having been early taught the sin, she 
had indulged it for a number of years with the result of 
producing a most terribly diseased condition of the 
sexual organs, which had baffled the skill of all the phy- 
sicians who had attended her, none of whom had ever 


been made acquainted with the true cause of the diffi- 

When apprised of the real facts in the case, that she 
alone was responsible for the sad condition into which 
she had fallen, her eyes were opened to see the wicked- 
ness and vileness of her course. She bitterly bemoaned 
her past life, and heartily repented of her sins. Of the 
sincerity of her repentance she gave evidence in the 
earnest efforts which she put forth to help herself. She 
spared no pains to do well all required on her part, and 
was soon rewarded by feeling that her diseases were 
being removed, and health was returning. Still she 
was constantly reminded of her former sins. When the 
will was off its guard, during sleep, the mind long in- 
dulged in sin, would revert to the old channels, and riot 
in vileness. Unchaste dreams often made her dread to 
sleep, as she awoke from these unconscious lapses ener- 
vated, weak, and prostrated as though she had actually 
transgressed. But though often thus almost disheart- 
ened, she continued the struggle, and was finally re- 
warded by gaining a perfect victory over her mind, sleep- 
ing as well as waking, and recovering her health suffi- 
ciently to enable her to enjoy life, and make herself very 

Not a few similar cases have come under our obser- 
vation ; and it seems to us that the pain, anguish, and 
remoxse suffered by these poor victims, ought to be a 
warning to those who have never entered the sinful road. 
What a terrible thing it is for a pure and lovely being, 
designed by God to fulfill a high, holy, and sacred mission 
in the world, to become a victim to such a filthy vice ! 
No girl of sense would in her right mind raise her hand 


to dash in pieces a beautiful vase, to destroy a lovely 
painting, or a beautiful piece of statuary. A girl who 
would do such a thing would be considered insane, and 
a fit subject for a mad-house. Yet is not the human 
body, a girl's own beautiful, symmetrical form, infi- 
nitely better, more valuable and more sacred, than any 
object produced by human art ? There can be but one 
answer. How, then, is it possible for her thus to defile 
and destroy herself? Is it not a fearful thing, a ter- 
rible vice ? 

A Ruined Girl. — One of the most remarkable cases 
of disease resulting from self-abuse which ever came 
under our observation was that of a young lady from a 
distant Western State whose adopted parents, after con- 
sulting many different physicians for a peculiar disease 
of the breast, placed her under our care. We found her 
a good-looking young woman about seventeen years of 
age, rather pale, and considerably emaciated, very nerv- 
ous and hysterical, and suffering with severe pain in the 
left breast, which was swollen to nearly double the 
natural size, hot, tense, pulsating, and extremely tender 
to the touch. Occasionally she would experience par- 
oxysms in which she apparently suffered extremely, 
being sometimes semi-conscious, and scarcely breathing 
for hours. We suspected the cause of these peculiar 
manifestations at the outset, but every suggestion of the 
possibility of the suspected cause was met with a stout 
denial and a very deceptive pretense of innocent ig- 
norance on the subject. All treatment was unavailing 
to check the disease. Though sometimes the symptoms 
seemed to be controlled, a speedy relapse occurred, so 
that no progress toward a cure was made. Finally, our 


conviction that the first impression respecting the case 
was correct became so strong that we hesitated no longer 
to treat it as such. By most vigilant observation we de- 
tected evidences of the soul-corrupting vice which we con- 
sidered unmistakable, and then the young woman who had 
pretended such profound ignorance of the matter, con- 
fessed to an extent of wickedness which was perfectly 
appalling. Every paroxysm was traced to an unusual 
excess of sinful indulgence. So hardened was she by 
her evil practices that she seemed to feel no remorse, 
and only promised to reform when threatened with ex- 
posure to her parents unless she immediately ceased the 
vile practice. In less than ten days the mysterious 
symptoms which had puzzled many physicians, disap- 
peared altogether. The swollen, tender breast was no 
larger than the other, and was so entirely restored that 
she was able to strike it a full blow without pain. 

So great was the depravity of this girl, however, 
that she had no notion of making a permanent reform. 
She even boasted of her wickedness to a companion, and 
announced her intention to continue the practice. We 
sent her home, and apprised her parents of the full facts 
in the case, for which we received their deepest gratitude, 
though their hearts were nearly broken with grief at 
the sad revelation made to them. Notwithstanding 
their most earnest efforts in her behalf, the wretched 
girl continued her downward career, and a year or two 
after, we learned that she had sunk to the very lowest 
depths of shame. 

Once this now wretched, disgraced creature was an 
active, pure, innocent little girl. Her adopted father 
lavished upon her numerous presents, and spent hun- 


dreds of dollars to obtain her recovery to health. Yet 
through this awful vice she was ruined utterly, and ren- 
dered so wholly perverse and bad that she had no desire 
to be better, no disposition to reform. God only knows 
what will be her sad end. May none who read these 
lines ever follow in her footsteps. 

The Danger of Boarding-Schools— Some years ago 
a young lady came under our medical care who had suf- 
fered for some time from a serious nervous difficulty 
which had baffled the skill of all the physicians who had 
had charge of her case, and which occasioned her a great 
amount of suffering, making it necessary that she should 
be confined to her bed most of the time, the disease 
being aggravated by exercise, and the patient having 
been much weakened by its long continuance. 

All the remedies usually successful in such cases 
were employed with little or no effect, and we were feel- 
ing somewhat perplexed concerning the case, when the 
young lady sent for us one day, and as we entered she 
burst into tears, and acknowledged that she had been 
addicted to the habit of self-abuse, and that she was 
still suffering from involuntary excitement during sleep. 
Having been placed in a boarding-school when quite 
young, she had there learned the vile habit, and had 
practiced it without knowing anything of the ill effects 
or really appreciating its sinfulness. When she learned, 
some years after, that the habit was a most pernicious 
vice, and of a character to bring destruction to both soul 
and body in one addicted to it, she endeavored to free 
herself from its shackles ; but she found herself too 
securely bound for escape. It seemed, indeed, an utter 
impossibility. Her thoughts had long been allowed to 



run in sentimental channels, and now they would do so 
in spite of the most earnest efforts to the contrary, dur- 
ing her waking hours ; and in sleep while the will-power 
was not active, the imagination would run riot uncon- 
trolled, leaving her, upon awaking, exhausted, enerva- 
ted, and almost desperate with chagrin. Knowing that 
she was daily suffering for her transgressions, she was 
filled with remorse and regret, and would have given all 
to undo the past ; but, alas ! she could not, and could 
only suffer with patience until relief could be secured. 
Her love for sentimental literature occasioned another 
battle for her to fight ; for she could scarcely resist the 
temptation daily offered her to while away some of the 
weary hours with such stories of love and sentiment as 
she had been accustomed to enjoy. But she fought the 
battle earnestly, and finally succeeded in conquering the 
evil tendencies of her mind both while awake and when 
asleep ; and from that time she began to make slow prog- 
ress toward recovery. The last we saw of her she was 
doing well, and hoped in time to arrive at a very com- 
fortable state of health. 

A Desperate Case. — A little girl about ten years of 
age was brought to us by her father who came with his 
daughter to have her broken of the vile habit of self- 
abuse into which she had fallen, having been taught it 
by a German servant girl. Having read an early copy 
of this work, the father had speedily detected the habit, 
and had adopted every measure that he could devise to 
break his child of the destructive vice which she had ac- 
quired, but in vain. After applying various other meas- 
ures without success, it finally became necessary to 
resort to a surgical operation, by which it is hoped that 


she was permanently cured, as we have heard nothing to 
the contrary since, and as the remedy seemed to be ef- 
fectual. It was a severe remedy, and may seem a 
harsh one, but every other means utterly failed, and the 
father insisted upon the performance of the operation as 
a trial. This little girl, naturally truthful and honest, 
had, through the influence of this blighting vice, been 
made crafty and deceptive. She would tell the most 
astonishing falsehoods to free herself from the charge of 
guilt, or to avoid punishment. Her father felt so deeply 
upon the subject, and was so thoroughly awake to the 
consequences of the sin, that he declared he would take 
his daughter away into the wilderness, and leave her to 
die, if need be, rather than allow her to grow up to 
womanhood with this vile blight upon her, and run the 
risk of her contaminating with the same vice his other, 
younger children. He felt so deeply that the tears 
coursed down his cheeks as he talked, and we were 
most happy to be of service to him in aiding his daugh- 
ter to overcome the fascinating vice. She seemed willing 
to try to help herself, but was unable to break the bonds 
of sin without the extraordinary measures adopted. 

We might continue this rehearsal of cases to an 
almost indefinite length, but we must soon bring this 
chapter to a close. Those described are only a few ex- 
amples of the many we are constantly meeting. None 
have been overdrawn ; much has been omitted for the 
sake of delicacy which the exposure of the whole truth 
would have required us to present. We sincerely hope 
that these examples may be a warning to those who 
have never marred their purity of character by an 
unchaste act. To those who may have already sinned 


in this manner, let these words come with double force 
and meaning. Do you value life, health, beauty, honor, 
virtue, purity ? Then for the sake of all these, abandon 
the evil practice at once. Do not hesitate for a moment 
to decide, and do not turn back after deciding to reform. 

A Last Word, — Girls, as one who has only your best 
interests in view, and who would do you good, we beg 
of you to give heed one moment to the important matter 
which we have been presenting before you. It is of no 
frivolous character. It is one of the most important 
subjects to which your attention can be called. Only 
those who are utterly ignorant of the dangers which 
surround them in the world, or who are already har- 
dened in sin, will treat this matter lightly or scornfully. 
If you are still pure, and possess a character unsoiled by 
sin, thank God that you have been preserved until now, 
and humbly petition him to enable you to remain as pure 
and unsullied as you now are. Cultivate all the heav- 
enly graces. Make your mother your confidant in all 
your perplexities and trials. Go to her for information 
on all subjects upon which you find yourself ignorant. 
Let no foreign influence beguile away your confidence 
from her who is most worthy of your love and respect, 
and who is best prepared to instruct you on all subjects,, 
no matter how delicate. Trust in God for help to resist 
evil under every guise. Flee from temptation under 
whatever form it may appear. Thus may you escape 
the suffering, the sorrow, and the remorse which are en- 
dured sooner or later by all who enter the road of sin, no 
matter how short a time they may travel therein. 

To those who have already fallen, who have been led 
astray either ignorantly or through weakness in yielding 


to temptation, we will say, Turn from your evil way at 
once. Misery, sorrow, anguish, and everlasting ruin 
stare you in the face. Perdition is before you. You 
need not think to escape the punishment that others 
suffer, for there is no way of escape. The penalty 
will surely come. Make haste to return to the paths of 
purity before it is too late to mend the past. It may 
take years of pure and upright living to repair the evil 
already done ; but do not hesitate to begin at once. 
With the help of God, resolve to become pure again. 
God can cleanse you from all unrighteousness. He can 
enable you to chase from your mind and heart every 
impure thought and unclean desire. Through his grace 
you can successfully battle with temptation, and redeem 
the black record of the past. 



We have a few words to say to boys and girls to- 
gether. You are to become the men and women of the 
next generation, when your fathers and mothers have 
retired from active life. Twenty years from to-day the 
world will be just what the present boys and girls shall 
make it. Boys who are chaste, honest, obedient, and in- 
dustrious, will become noble and useful men, husbands, 
and fathers. Girls who are pure, innocent, and duti- 
ful, will become honored and lovely women, wives, and 

Boys and girls are placed in families together, and 
thus are evidently designed by nature to associate to- 
gether, to obtain their education and preparation for life 
together. When secluded wholly from each other's 
society, both suffer a loss. But while this is true, it is 
also true that certain evils may and often do grow out 
of the association of the two sexes of young people, so 
serious in character that many wise and good men and 
women have felt that the sexes should be reared and 
educated apart as much as possible. These evils are the 
result of too intimate and improper associations of boys 
and girls. Associations of this sort must be most sedu- 
lously avoided. Boys and girls who are in school 
together must be extremely careful to avoid too close 
associations. On all occasions a modest reserve should 
be maintained in the deportment of the young of both 
sexes toward each other. Too early intimacies often 
lead to hasty marriages, before either party is prepared 
to enter into the married state, and before the judgment 


has been sufficiently developed to make either capable 
of selecting a suitable partner for life. These facts are 
usually learned when it is too late for the information to 
be of any value. 

Parents and teachers are especially responsible for 
guarding these early associations, and giving timely 
warning when needed. The youth should always be 
ready to take advice on this subject, for with their in- 
experience, they cannot know their wants so well as do 
their elders. Nothing is more disgusting to persons of 
sound sense than youthful flirtations. Those misguided 
persons who encourage these indiscretions in young peo- 
ple, do an immense amount of injury to those whom they 
ought to be prepared to benefit by wise counsel. We 
have seen promising young people made wretched for 
life through the influence of one of these mischief-mak- 
ers, being most unhappily mated, and repenting too late 
of a hasty marriage for which they were utterly unpre- 

Young persons often labor under the erroneous im- 
pression that in order to be agreeable they must talk 
" small talk ; " this literally means, " silly twaddle," 
which disgusts everybody, and yet which all seek to 
imitate. Whenever the two sexes meet in society or 
elsewhere, as at all other times, the conversation should 
be turned upon subjects of real interest, which admit of 
the exercise of sound sense and will be a means of cul- 
ture. Such associations do not result in injury to any 
one, and may be the means of much profit ; but nothing 
is more execrable than the frivolous, silly, often abso- 
lutely senseless observations which make up the great 
bulk of the conversation of young people in fashionable 


A most ready means of disclosing the superficial 
character of the minds of a large share of the young per- 
sons who move in fashionable circles is to introduce 
some topic requiring depth of thought and sound judg- 
ment. Such a subject will usually produce either an 
instant lull in the conversation, or a display of ignorance 
which cannot fail to reveal the shallowness of the speak- 
er's intellect. It is this superficial class of minds that 
most easily fall victims to a sickly sentimentalism, which 
readily leads to digressions from the pathway of rigid 

A boy who has the elements of true manliness in 
him, will carry a gentlemanly bearing wherever he goes. 
In all his deportment, and especially in his conduct to- 
ward the opposite sex, he will act the gentleman ; and 
the boy whose gentility is genuine will manifest the 
same kind deference toward his mother and sisters as 
toward other ladies and girls. So also the young lady 
who is a lady at heart, will never allow herself to forget 
the rules of propriety, whether she is in the company of 
her father and brothers, or that of other gentlemen. 

All the rules of etiquette are worth little compared 
with the one simple rule which is applicable to both 
sexes and all ages,—" Have the heart right, and then 
act natural." One so governed will not go very far 
astray under any circumstances ; but it is of the great- 
est importance that the heart be right. To make it 
such is, indeed, the great business of life. 

" Blessed are the Pure in Heart." 

§ Chapter for Young Women, 

JHE young women of the present generation are to 
be the mothers of the next, and it is of vital im- 
portance for the generation to come that the indi- 
^ viduals composing it shall come into the world with 
vigorous constitutions, free from the sad entailments of 
hereditary disease, and prepared to grow up into vigorous, 
noble, useful men and women. In order that this should 
be the case, it is necessary that our young women should 
become intelligent respecting those functions of the 
body which are specially liable to become deranged, and 
which are to be instrumental in bringing into life the 
generation yet unborn. 

At the period of puberty, the girl passes, within a 
few months, from girlhood to young womanhood. New 
vital processes are set up within her body; new functions 
are assumed. It is the duty of every mother to explain 
to her daughter, in advance, the import of these new 
processes, and to give her such information as will 
enable her to so care for herself at this critical period as 
to prevent the great amount of unnecessary suffering 
which grows out of the neglect arising from ignorance 
upon this subject. The failure of mothers to do their 
duty in this respect, and more than this, the lamentable 
ignorance of the mothers themselves, is one of the con- 
siderations which have induced the author of this book 



to prepare this special chapter in which to impart the 
information so much needed, and to make such sugges- 
tions as, if carefully followed, will save a vast amount of 
suffering and wretched uselessness, or years of invalidism. 

Symptoms of Puberty. — As the period of puberty 
approaches, the whole system seems to take on an 
increased activity. The growth becomes more rapid ; 
the hips begin to broaden, the abdomen to enlarge ; the 
breasts increase in size ; and by degrees the various 
changes in the functions of the body, noted elsewhere as 
occurring at puberty, make their appearance. The 
nervous system is also more or less affected. Girls at 
this age are apt to be somewhat irritable and nervous, 
and in many cases the first symptoms of a sentimental 
disposition make their appearance. 

Hygiene of Puberty. — Too early an appearance of 
puberty should be looked upon as a misfortune, as it 
predicts, in the great majority of cases, premature decay. 
Hence, if indications of the approach of puberty appear 
at too early an age, such measures should be adopted as 
will have the effect to delay the approaching change. 
The most important of these are abundant exercise in 
the open air, and plenty of muscular work, though not of 
an exhausting character, a simple diet of fruits, grains, 
and milk, with abstinence from flesh food, and all 
excesses which tend to exhaust the nervous system. 

In case the indications are that puberty is delayed 
beyond the proper time for its appearance, special 
attention should be given to the girl's general health. 
It is probable that there is some disturbance of nutrition 
Avhich prevents the appearance of the menstrual function 
at the proper period. Whatever the cause is, it should 


be carefully sought out and corrected. We have fre- 
quently succeeded in bringing about the desired results 
in these cases by a few weeks' treatment by electricity, 
massage, and systematic exercise in a gymnasium, with 
proper regulation of the diet. These means are almost 
uniformly successful in these cases. 

A Critical Period.— As the first occurrence of men- 
struation is a very critical period in the life of a female, 
and as each recurrence of the function renders her es- 
pecially susceptible to morbid influences, and liable to 
serious derangements, a few hints respecting the proper 
care of an individual at these periods may be acceptable. 

Important Hints. — 1. Avoid taking cold. To do 
this, it is necessary to avoid exposure ; not that a per- 
son must be constantly confined in a warm room, for 
such a course would be the surest way in which to in- 
crease the susceptibility to cold. Nothing will disturb 
the menstrual process more quickly than a sudden chill- 
ing of the body when in a state of perspiration, or after 
confinement in a warm room, by exposure, without suf- 
ficient protection, to cold air. A daily bath and daily 
exercise in the open air are the best known means of 
preventing colds. 

2. Intense mental excitement, as well as severe 
physical labor, is to be sedulously avoided during this 
period. At the time of its first occurrence, special care 
should be observed in this direction. Intense study, a 
fit of anger, sudden grief, or even great merriment, will 
sometimes arrest the process prematurely. The feeling 
of malaise which usually accompanies the discharge, is by 
nature intended as a warning that rest and quiet are 
required; and the hint should be followed. Every 


endeavor should be made to keep the individual comfort- 
able, calm, and cheerful. Feelings of apprehension 
arising from a continual watching of symptoms, are very 
depressing, and should be avoided by occupying the 
mind in some agreeable manner not demanding severe 
effort, either mental or physical. 

There is no doubt that many young women have 
permanently injured their constitutions while at school 
by excessive mental taxation during the catamenial 
period, to which they were prompted by ambition to 
excel, or were compelled by the " cramming " system too 
generally pursued in our schools, and particularly in 
young ladies ' seminaries. It is not to be supposed, 
however, that the moderate amount of sound study re- 
quired by a correct system of teaching would be injuri- 
ous to a healthy young woman at any time, and we 
have no doubt that a very large share of the injury 
which has been attributed to overstudy during the 
catamenia has been induced by other causes, such as 
improper dress, exposure to taking cold, keeping late 
hours, and improper diet. 

If there is any class of persons deserving of pity, it 
is that large class of girls and young women who are in 
every large city employed as clerks, seamstresses, flower 
makers, and in other taxing and confining occupations. 
In order to keep their situations, they are required to 
be on hand daily, being allowed no opportunity for rest 
at the menstrual period. In many cases, too, they are 
compelled to remain upon their feet all day behind a 
counter, or at a work table, even at periods when a 
recumbent position is actually demanded by nature. 
There should be less delicacy in relation to this subject 


on the part of young women, and more consideration on 
the part of employers. Here is a field for philan- 
thropic effort which is well worthy the best efforts of 
any person of influence who will engage in it. 

Custom of Indian Women.— The ease with which 
Indian women perform the parturient act is proverbial. 
They suffer scarcely at all from the pains of childbirth ; 
and without doubt one reason of this is the preservation 
of their sexual health by rest during the menstrual 
period. At those seasons they invariably absent them 
selves from the lodge, and enjoy absolute rest. Wo 
may readily suppose, from the nature of some of the 
Mosaic laws, that a custom somewhat similar prevailed 
among the ancient Hebrew women. If the hardy 
women of the forest are benefited by rest, certainly our 
more delicate civilized women may be thus benefited. 
All need a degree of rest ; with some it should be abso » 

Criminal Carelessness. — The reckless manner in 
which some young women treat themselves at the men- 
strual period, is quite appalling to one who is acquainted 
with the painful and inveterate character of the evils 
which arise from such abuse. It is no uncommon thing 
for young ladies to attend balls, visit skating rinks, 
and otherwise expose themselves to influences in 
every way the best calculated to do them the most 
harm at this particular period, observing not the slight- 
est precaution. Such recklessness is really criminal; 
and the sad consequences of physical transgression are 
sure to follow. A young lady who allows herself to get 
wet or chilled, just prior to or during menstruation, runs 
the risk of imposing upon herself life-long injury. 


Mothers should look carefully after their daughters at 
these periods, and impress upon them the importance of 
special care. 

3. A third hint, which is applicable to both sexes 
and at all times, is the necessity of attending promptly 
to the demands of nature for the relief of bowels and 
bladder. School-girls are often very negligent in this 
respect ; and we have seen the most distressing cases of 
disease which were entirely attributable to this disre- 
gard of the promptings of nature. Obstinate constipa- 
tion and chronic irritation of the bladder are common 
effects. When constipation results, purgatives in the 
^shape of pills, salts, or " pleasant purgative pellets," are 
resorted to with the certain effect of producing only 
temporary relief, and permanent damage. 

To escape these evil consequences, (1.) Establish a 
regular habit of relieving the bowels daily at a certain 
hour; (2.) Discard laxative and cathartic drugs of every 
kind ; (3.) To aid in securing a regular movement of the 
bowels, make a liberal use of oatmeal, wheat-meal, 
fruit, and vegetables, avoiding fine-flour bread, sweet- 
meats, and condiments ; (4.) Take daily exercise, as 
much as possible short of fatigue ; if necessarily con- 
fined indoors, counteract the constipating influence of 
.sedentary habits by kneading and percussing the bowels 
with the hands several minutes each day ; (5.) Never re- 
sist the calls of nature a single moment, if possible to avoid 
it. In this case, as in numerous others, " delay is dan- 
gerous." Ladies who desire a sweet breath — and what 
lady does not ? — should remember that retained feces is 
one of the most frequent causes of foul breath. The 
foul odors which ought to pass out through the bowels, 


find their way into the blood, and escape at the lungs. 
A medical man whose sense of smell is delicate, soon 
learns to know a constipated person by his breath. As 
one says, " What is more offensive than the breath of a 
costive child ? " 

A Doctor's Advice. — Boerhaave, a famous Dutch 
physician, left to his heirs an elegantly bound volume 
in which, he claimed, were written all the secrets of the 
science of physic. After his death, the wonderful book 
was opened, when it was found to contain only the fol- 
lowing sentence : — 

" Keep the head cool, the feet warm, and the bowels 

An old Scotch physician once gave the following 
advice to Sir Astley Cooper for the preservation of 
health : — 

" Keep in the fear of the Lord, and your bowels 

4. Perhaps nothing tends more directly to the pro- 
duction of menstrual derangements, as well as uterine 
diseases of every sort, than fashionable modes of dress. 
We have not space here to give the subject the atten- 
tion it deserves ; it will be found treated of in works 
devoted to the subject of dress exclusively. Some of 
the most glaring evils are, — 

(1.) Unequal distribution of clothing. The trunk, 
especially the abdomen and pelvis, is covered with nu- 
merous layers of clothing, an extra amount being caused by 
the overlapping of the upper and lower garments. Very 
frequently, the amount of clothing upon these, the most 
vital parts, is excessive. At the same time, the limbs are 
sometimes almost in a state of nudity. A single cotton 


garment, or at most one of thin flannel, is the only pro- 
tection to the limbs beneath the skirts, which often 
serve no better purpose than to collect cold air and re- 
tain it in contact with the limbs. A thin stocking is the 
only protection for the ankles, and a thin shoe is the 
only additional covering afforded the feet. Under such 
circumstances, it is no wonder that a woman catches 
cold if she only steps out-of-doors on a chilly or damp 

(2.) Another glaring fault is in the manner of sus- 
pending the skirts. Instead of being fastened to a waist, 
or suspended so as to give them support from the shoul- 
ders, they are hung upon the hips, being drawn tight at 
the waist to secure support. By this means the organs 
of the pelvis are pressed down out of place, the uterus 
becomes congested, and painful menstrual derangements 

(3.) Tight-lacing, or compressing the waist with a 
corset, is a barbarous practice which produces the same 
results as the one last mentioned. Reform in all 
these particulars is an imperative necessity for every 
woman who desires to secure or retain sexual health. 

It is of the greatest importance that careful attention 
should be given to the proper establishment of the 
menstrual function at the outset of a woman's life of 
sexual activity. The first two years will be quite 
likely to have a deciding influence respecting her health 
during her whole future life. If a girl can get 
through the first two years after puberty without ac- 
quiring any serious uterine or ovarian disease, she will 
stand a fair chance of enjoying a good degree of sexual 
health during the balance of her life. The foundation 


of a great share of the many thousands of cases of 
uterine disease is laid during this period. 

At this early period the daughter is usually too young 
to appreciate the importance of observing slight devia- 
tions from the standard of health, even if she were suf- 
ficiently informed to be able to recognize them ; hence it 
is a duty which no mother should neglect, to inquire 
into the exact frequency of the periods, the amount and 
character of the discharge, and other points necessary to 
ascertain whether or not there is any deviation from the 
natural condition of health. If there is pain, it is a 
certain evidence of something seriously wrong. If there 
is irregularity in any particular, it is a matter well de- 
serving serious attention. 

Other Perils. — After passing through the dangers 
incident to the establishment of the menstrual function, 
the young lady encounters dangers of a no less perilous 
character. Having become a young lady, she must now, 
according to the custom of the world, begin to enter so- 
ciety. Here she meets all sorts of influences, some good 
and some bad. At least, this is true of society in most 
civilized communities. The young lady very soon dis- 
covers that if she is to take equal rank with her asso- 
ciates, she must adopt their manners and customs, to a 
large extent at least. 

Unfortunately, the social customs in this country are 
strangely prepared for a powerful tendency in the di- 
rection of evil. These influences soon begin to tell 
upon the character of a young woman who has not been 
fortified against them with intelligent care and correct 
early training, and even they are not always proof 
against the contaminating influences with which they 



come in contact. Often enough has the writer met 
cases in which young girls of only fifteen or sixteen 
years have been permitted to enter the exciting whirl- 
pool of social life, and imitating the example of their 
elders, have accepted the attentions of young men of 
whose history they knew nothing, and of whose char- 
acters they were in no way competent to judge. 

Moon-light rides, long evening walks, associations at 
parties, picnics, etc., give sly privileges, at first appar- 
ently accidental, but gradually becoming more audacious, 
until finally, within a few short weeks or months, the 
cloak of modesty with which the young girl's maiden- 
hood had been protected, was torn in tatters, and she 
lacks but little, if anything, of having taken all the 
steps necessary to lead a woman outside the pale of 
virgin purity. Thousands of girls, thus early thrown 
into society, without experience in the world, with 
immature minds, warm-hearted and unsuspecting, are 
annually led down the road to ruin through the oppor- 
tunities afforded by our lax social manners. The care- 
ful mother will restrain her daughters from exposure 
to any of the temptations of fashionable society until 
they have attained sufficient age and understanding, and 
until their principles have become so thoroughly estab- 
lished that they cannot be so easily led astray. 

"Fast Girls." — Some young women, like a certain 
class of young men, imagine that there is something 
particularly smart in being fast. A walk, a ride, or a 
waltz with some fast young man, perhaps a notorious 
rake, is an adventure which has a peculiar fascination. 
They delight in those escapades and adventures which 
startle old-fashioned people who still have some sense 


of propriety. What is the consequence ? These young 
women soon find their moral sense so blunted, that be- 
fore they are aware of it they are led to the commission 
of acts which, but a short time before, they would have 
regarded with the greatest horror. In an unguarded 
moment the fatal step is taken, and modesty, purity, 
and honor, all that a woman holds most sacred, are sac- 
rificed, and they are rapidly swept away into the mael- 
strom of vice. 

Improper Liberties. — The first step usually taken 
by the young woman on the downward road, is the al- 
lowance of little liberties on the part of young men. 
They may be very slight at first, perhaps only a signi- 
ficant pressure of the hand, or the arm placed about the 
waist, or some similar impropriety. By degrees, slight 
advances are made along the same lino, until the gross- 
est breaches of immodesty are permitted. We are not 
over-stating the matter when we say that we have met 
many young women who have been led into wrong do- 
ing, who have confessed that this was the beginning of 
their downward course. 

Every young woman should resent the first appear- 
ance of attentions of the sort referred to. There is no 
other safe point at which the line may be drawn. In- 
deed, we are of the opinion that the freedom with which 
mothers allow strangers to handle their children, caress- 
ing and fondling them, has a decided influence to break 
down the barriers of modesty, and to pervert the 
instincts so as to prepare them for the evils to which we 
have called attention, in later years. 

Getting a Husband. — The women who are willing to 
" live and die as old maids," are very rare exceptions 


among the sex. The average woman looks upon the lot 
of a spinster as the most wretched and undesirable pos- 
sible ; and yet it is unquestionably true that the average 
" old maid " is vastly happier in her lot, and more useful 
to the world, than quite a large proportion of wives. 
Certainly there is a vast deal of useful work which 
can be better accomplished by those who can give 
their undivided attention to the work in hand, than by 
those whose minds and energies are necessarily devoted 
to husband, children, and domestic cares. We doubt not 
that the world would be vastly better off if there were 
a much larger number of useful old maids, and a less 
number of helpless, good-for-nothing, sickly wives. Nev- 
ertheless, the average woman expects to marry some- 
time, and it may be worth while to devote a little space 
to the consideration of what sort of a man a husband 
ought to be. In another chapter the characteristics of 
persons of both sexes who ought not to marry at all 
have been pointed out. A man possessing any of the 
defects named, is not fit to be the husband of any woman 
worthy of a good husband. To the suggestions else- 
where made, we will add the following : — 

1. Be sure that the man whom you accept as a hus- 
band is worth marrying. There are a great many 
excellent men in the world, but probably by far the 
great majority of husbands are not worth marrying. 
Some years ago we were stopping for a few weeks at a 
fashionable boarding-house in Boston. As we were pre- 
paring to leave, the young woman in charge of the 
dining-room, having learned of our connection with a 
medical institution in the West, desired us to apply for 
a position in it for her. As we had been greatly pleased 


with her efficient management of the work she had in 
charge, we were strongly inclined to endeavor to make 
arrangements to employ her services, and offered her, by 
way of encouragement, some remark to that effect, to 
which she replied, " I suppose I ought to state to you 
that I have an incumbrance." 

" What sort of an incumbrance ? " 

" Why, do n't you understand ? I have a husband." 

We found that she was indeed incumbered by a 
good-for-nothing husband, which fact prevented our en- 
gaging her services ; and undoubtedly the same incum- 
brance has been directly in the way of her getting on in 
the world ever since. 

There are plenty of women in the world who are 
capable of being of great service to society in various 
callings, who are handicapped in the most effectual 
manner by incumbrances of the same sort. If you have 
an ambition to do anything in the world, or to be any- 
thing more than a plodding character in the tide of 
human life, see to it that the man whom you are to 
marry is one who is competent to aid you in the attain- 
ment of noble and useful things, instead of being an 
" incumbrance " and a hinderance . 

2. Make yourself worthy of a good husband. Study 
the arts of house-keeping and home-making. Give more 
attention to the cultivation of estimable qualities of mind 
and heart and character, to self-discipline and health- 
culture, than to external adornment of the person. 
Form a high ideal of what a grand, noble, and lovable 
woman ought to be, and endeavor to make yourself 

3. Do not be in too great a hurry, and do not make 


your favors too cheap. Maintain a maidenly reserve, 
which is vastly more attractive to intelligent and sensible 
men than the bold and flashy manners of many young 
women of the present day, which say as distinctly as 
words could speak, something like the following : — 

" I am in the matrimonial market, Won't you buy ? 
Speak quick ! I am in a hurry to be sold as soon as 

Such vain creatures are usually " sold," to their in- 
finite mortification and chagrin. They think that by 
their flashy manners and the great display of what is 
vulgarly known as " cheek," they will be able to catch 
a great prize in the shape of a wealthy or talented hus- 
band ; whereas, in the majority of cases, they are picked 
up by some shallow-brained fop, who is skilled only in 
the arts of deception, in which he has trained himself to 
such perfection as to become an equal and suitable 
match for one of those vain and flashy daughters of 

Again we say, Do not be in a hurry. Wait and 
work. Labor to make yourself purer and better, and 
more thoroughly sincere and genuine in your purposes, 
and you may be sure that in due time, and at the right 
time, the one man who is capable of making you the 
best possible husband will find you out. If you find 
that you are overlooked, do not begin to bemoan your 
lot, but be glad and thankful that you are not the wife 
of an incumbrance, and be sure that in all probability, if 
you were not single, you would be in that unhappy pre- 

Chapter for Wives and pothers, 


fOU have found a husband, it is to be hoped, to 
your mind, and suited to you, and now the ques- 
tion is, What are you going to do with him or 
^^ for him ? In the first place, make him a pleasant 
cheerful, tidy home. Take good care of him. Par- 
ticularly, take good care of his stomach, by supplying 
him with pure, wholesome food. If you can keep his 
digestion good, you can rely upon his keeping his tem- 
per, unless he is an extraordinarily ill-tempered man. 
Be careful always to treat him well, and demand that 
he should treat you well. Treat him respectfully, and 
insist that he shall treat you respectfully in return. 
Respect his rights of conscience, and require him to re- 
spect yours as well. Humor him a little, especially if 
you are in the right, and he in the wrong. You can 
afford to be generous and liberal if you have the right 
on your side, as you will certainly come out ahead in 
the long run. 

Never allow your undoubted rights to be trampled 
upon without protest. What are married women's 
rights? we are asked. Some women imagine that when 
married, all their rights become subject to their hus- 
band's wishes. This is a mistake. Both human and 
divine laws recognize the fact that a woman possesses in- 
dividual rights of which she cannot be deprived, even 



by her husband. One of these is the right of conscience. 
No woman is ever called upon to sacrifice the de- 
mands of conscience to the wishes of her husband. 

Another right which every wife possesses, is the 
right to control her own person ; that is, she is master 
of her own body, and is under no physical or moral 
obligation to submit to demands made upon her by her 
husband unless her own instincts lead in the same di- 
rection. Many other minor rights might be mentioned, 
but these are the most important, and perhaps the only 
ones concerning which any serious question is likely to 

The Young Mother. — One of the natural results of 
marriage is motherhood. This function has, however, 
in this perverted age, come to be looked upon as a bur- 
den, and by some, almost as a disgrace. There prob- 
ably never was a time when paternity was avoided by 
every conceivable device as at the present time. Some 
of the numerous evils which grow out of the reluctance 
on the part of women to fulfill the most important func- 
tion of womanhood, have been pointed out elsewhere 
in this work, and need not be recapitulated here 

Pregnancy. — The leading signs of pregnancy are as 
follows : — 

1. Cessation of Menstruation. This is generally the 
first evidence of conception, and is usually reckoned as 
the beginning of the period of gestation, or pregnancy. It 
sometimes happens, however, that menstruation continues 
during the whole period of pregnancy. 

2. Morning Sickness is a symptom which usually ap- 
pears early in the second month, sometimes, even in the 


first week. The patient experiences nausea just after 
rising in the morning, which is sometimes accompanied 
by vomiting. 

3. Change in the Breasts. By the middle or end of 
the second month, the breasts begin to enlarge, becom- 
ing firmer to the touch, and also somewhat sensitive. 
The nipple becomes darker in color, and the ring around 
it, technically termed the areola, also acquires a deeper 
hue, and extends its circle. Little tubercules make 
their appearance upon the surface. At this period, dark 
spots, closely resembling liver spots, make their appear- 
ance upon the face and hands. These differ from 
liver spots in that they usually disappear very speedily 
after childbirth. 

4. Increase in the size of the tvomb. By the end of 
the second month, the womb acquires sufficient increase 
in size to cause it to settle down into the pelvis, in con- 
sequence of which the abdomen acquires an unnatural 
flatness characteristic of this condition. 

5. Beating of the foetal heart. Between the third and 
fourth months, the foetus has attained sufficient growth 
to enable the experienced observer to hear the beat- 
ing of the heart. This is the first sign of pregnancy. 
The beating of the foetal heart is to be distinguished 
from that of the mother by its frequency, which is 
usually about one hundred and thirty or one hundred 
and fifty beats per minute. 

6. Quickening. This term is usually applied to the 
first feeling of the movements of the child by the mother. 
They may be felt any time by a quick tap on the abdo- 

7. Continued enlargement of the foetus takes place 
from its rapid growth at this time. 


8. Near the termination of pregnancy, the uterus 
becomes so greatly enlarged that severe pressure is 
made upon the stomach, which occasions a return of the 
nausea and vomiting. 

9. Leucorrhoea. During the last few weeks of 
pregnancy, the congested state of the blood-vessels of 
the vagina occasions a leucorrhoeal discharge. 

10. Settling of the womb. At the termination of the 
pregnancy, just prior to childbirth, the womb again 
settles down into the pelvis, causing a change in the 
shape of the abdomen. 

The Curse Removed. — Most women look forward to 
the period of childbirth with great apprehension and 
anxiety, in consequence of the great suffering which 
must be endured, and the no small peril to life and 
health which are involved. Quite an extensive observa- 
tion has convinced us, however, that a large share of 
the suffering and danger may be obviated by careful 
preparation for the event. The following suggestions 
are particularly important : — 

1. The diet should consist chiefly of fruits, grains, 
and milk. The practice of drinking one or two glasses 
of very warm water an hour before each meal, is an ex- 
cellent measure of preventing disease of the kidneys. 
Tea and coffee should be discarded, as they cause a de- 
cided increase of the tendency to morning sickness, 
besides producing nervous irritability. Stimulants and 
condiments of all sorts should be scrupulously avoided. 
The avoidance of oatmeal and other grains which furnish 
a large amount of bone-making material, is a doctrine 
without scientific foundation, as we have elsewhere 
shown at some length. 


2. An abundance of vigorous muscular exercise 
should be taken daily. All the muscles of the body 
should be exercised, particularly those of the abdomen. 
By these means some of the most troublesome complica- 
tions of labor may be avoided, and the birth made easy. 
Among the leading causes of painful childbirth, are sed- 
entary habits. The mother should take regular exer- 
cise, even up to the last day. Walking is an excellent 
form of exercise ; and when this can be supplemented by 
massage, and particularly by careful kneading of the ab- 
dominal muscles, very great advantage may be gained. 

3. Tight-lacing, the suspending of heavy skirts from 
the waist, and other errors in dress, are so patently evil 
that we scarcely need take space to condemn them. Yet 
some women will even insist on wearing corsets during 
pregnancy, for the purpose of preserving their form. 
This is so wicked and pernicious a practice that in our 
opinion it ought to be prohibited by law. 

4. Baths of various sorts are of immense advantage 
in securing easy childbirth. A general bath should be 
taken at least twice a week. A warm vaginal injection 
should be taken daily. The temperature of the water 
should be 95° to 100° A little fine castile soap should 
be used to secure perfect cleanliness of the parts. By 
this means the troublesome leucorrhoeal discharge, and 
the annoying itching which frequently attends it, 
may usually be wholly controlled, if not entirely pre- 
vented. A sitz bath taken during the early months 
once or twice a week, and during the last two or three 
months daily, or every other day, is very beneficial. The 
temperature of the bath should be from 90° to 94°, and 
should be continued twenty or thirty minutes. In 


taking the bath, great care should be exercised not to 
produce any shock to the patient by the sudden appli- 
cation of either very hot or very cold water. 

A Hayti Mother, — The freedom from pain in child- 
birth enjoyed by barbarous nations, is to the civilized 
woman a matter of wonder and amazement. The same 
immunity from suffering is enjoyed by negro women, 
and by those of various other nations. A friend of the 
writer, an old sea captain, recently related in substance 
the following incident : — 

While living at Hayti a few years ago, as he was 
driving one morning, he passed his washer-woman, 
who with a huge basket of soiled clothes on her head, 
was walking two or three miles into the country to a 
little lake, which she used for a wash-tub in her laundry 
operations. On returning in the evening over the same 
route, he again passed the woman, returning with her 
basket filled with spotless linen, carrying a new-born 
babe in her arms. It was evident that she had not al- 
lowed the small incident of a childbirth to interfere with 
the regular business of the day. 

We would not attempt to maintain that all women 
can bear children as easily as the Hayti washer-woman, 
even if most careful attention is given to all the rules of 
health. Among the most highly civilized nations, es- 
pecially the Caucasian race, the neglect of physical cul- 
ture has produced disproportionate development between 
the head and other portions of the body, which is un- 
questionably one cause of suffering at childbirth, and 
cannot be wholly obviated by any attention to general 
or special hygiene ; but that the sufferings of childbirth 
are greatly mitigated, and in many cases almost wholly 


prevented, we are positively assured by experience with 
scores of women who have faithfully carried out the 
simple suggestions made in this and other works in 
which we have presented this important subject. 

Ante-Natal Influences. — There can be no manner 
of doubt that many circumstances which it is entirely 
within the power of the parents to supply, exert a pow- 
erful influence in molding both the mental and the phys- 
ical characteristics of offspring. By carefully availing 
himself of the controlling power given him by a knowl- 
edge of this fact, the stock-raiser is enabled to produce 
almost any required quality in his young animals. Pig- 
eon fanciers show wonderful skill in thus producing most 
curious modifications in birds. The laws of heredity and 
development are carefully studied and applied in the pro- 
duction of superior horses, cows, dogs, and pigeons ; but 
an application of the same principles to the improvement 
of the human race is rarely thought of. Human beings 
are generated in as hap-hazard and reckless a manner as 
weeds are sown by the wind. No account is taken of 
the possible influence which may be exerted upon the 
future destiny of the new being by the physical or men- 
tal condition of parents at the moment when the germ of 
life is planted, or by the mental and physical conditions 
and surroundings of the mother while the young life is 
developing. Indeed, the assertion of a modern writer 
that the poor of our great cities virtually " spawn " chil- 
dren, with as little thought of influences and conse- 
quences as the fish that sow their eggs broadcast upon 
the waters, is not so great an exaggeration as it might 
at first sight appear to be. 

Law Universal. — Men and women are constantly 


prone to forget that the domain of law is universal. 
Nothing comes by chance. The revolutions of the 
planets, studied by the aid of the telescope ; and the 
gyrations of the atoms, seen only by the eye of sci- 
ence, are alike examples of the controlling influence of 
law. Notwithstanding this sad ignorance and the disre- 
gard of this vitally important subject, the effects of law 
are only too clearly manifested in the crowds of wretched 
human beings with which the world is thronged. An 
old writer sagely remarks, " It is the greatest part of hu- 
man felicity to be well born ; " nevertheless, it is the sad 
misfortune of by far the greater portion of humanity to 
be deprived of this inestimable " felicity." 

A Source of Crime, — Who can tell how many of the 
liars, thieves, drunkards, murderers, and prostitutes of 
our day are less responsible for their crimes against 
themselves, against society, and against Heaven, than 
those who were instrumental in bringing them into the 
world ? Almost every village has its boy " who was 
born drunk," a staggering, simpering, idiotic representa- 
tive of a drunken father, beastly intoxicated at the very 
moment when he should have been most sober. 

An interesting study of this question has recently 
been made by Mr. Dugdale, a member of the Prison As- 
sociation of the State of New York. When visiting the 
various jails of the State, he found in one six persons 
detained for crimes of various character, between all of 
whom there was a family relation. Upon further in- 
quiry, he found that of the same family there were 
twenty-nine relatives in the vicinity, seventeen of whom 
were criminals. Still further investigation developed 
the following facts : — 


A Bad Family. — Within seventy-five years, a family 
of 1200 persons have sprung from five sisters, several of 
whom were illegitimate, and three of whom were known 
to be unchaste, and who married men whose father was 
an idle, thriftless hunter, a hard drinker, and licentious. 

Of this family, the history of about 709 was traced. 
Of these, the facts set forth in the following incomplete 
summary were found to be true : — 

Paupers, 280 

Years of pauperism, 798 

Criminals, 140 

Years of infamy, 750 

Thieves, 60 

Murderers, 7 

Prostitutes and adulteresses, 165 

Illegitimate children, 91 

No. of persons contaminated by syphilitic disease, . 480 

Cost to the State in various ways, $1,308,000 

Without doubt, a complete summary would make this 
showing still more appalling, since of the 709 whose 
histories were traced, it was in many instances impos- 
sible to determine whether the individuals were guilty 
of crime or unchastity or not, even where there were 
grounds for suspicion. Such cases were not included 
in the summary. 

No amount of argument on this question could be 
so conclusive as are these simple facts concerning 
the " Juke " family. It is certainly high time that our 
legislators began to awaken to this subject, and consider 
whether it would be an unprofitable experiment to 
make some attempt to prevent the multiplication of 
criminals in this manner. We are not prepared to offer 


a plan for securing an end ; but it is very clearly 
important that something should be done in this di- 

A Physiological Fact.— It is an established physi- 
ological fact that the character of offspring is influenced 
by the mental as well as the physical conditions of the 
parents at the moment of the performance of the gener- 
ative act. In view of this fact, how many parents can 
regard the precocious, or even mature, manifestations of 
sexual depravity in their children without painful smit- 
ings of conscience at seeing the legitimate results of 
their own sensuality ? By debasing the reproductive 
function to an act of selfish animal indulgence, they 
imprinted upon their children an almost irresistible 
tendency to vice. Viewing the matter from this stand- 
point, what wonder that licentiousness is rife ! that true 
chastity is among the rarest of virtues ! 

Prof. 0. W. Holmes remarks on this subject : 
" There are people who think that everything may be 
done if the doctor, be he educator or physician, be only 
called in season. No doubt ; but in season would often 
be a hundred or two years before the child was born, 
and people never send so early as that." " Each of us 
is only the footing up of a double column of figures that 
goes back to the first pair. Every unit tells, and some 
of them are plus and some minus. If the columns do n't 
add up right, it is commonly because we can't make 
out all of the figures." 

It cannot be doubted that the throngs of deaf, blind, 
crippled, idiotic unfortunates who were " born so," 
together with a still larger class of dwarfed, diseased, 
and constitutionally weak individuals, nre the lamentable 


results of the violation of some sexual law on the part 
of their progenitors. 

Something for Parents to Consider.— If parents 
would stop a moment to consider the momentous re- 
sponsibilities involved in the act of bringing into exist- 
ence a human being; if they would reflect that the 
qualities imparted to the new being will affect its char- 
acter to all eternity ; if they would recall the fact that 
they are about to bring into existence a mirror in which 
will be reflected their own characters divested of all the 
flimsy fabrics which deceive their fellow-men, revealing 
even the secret imaginings of their hearts, there would 
surely be far less of sin, disease, and misery born into 
the world than at the present day ; but we dare not hope 
for such a reform. To effect it would require such a 
revolution in the customs of society, such a radical re- 
form in the habits and characters of individuals, as 
could be done by nothing short of a temporal mil- 

It is quite probable that some writers have greatly 
exaggerated the possible results which may be attained 
by proper attention to the laws under consideration. 
All cannot be equally beautiful ; every child cannot be 
a genius ; the influence of six thousand years of trans- 
gression cannot be effaced in a single generation ; but 
persevering, conscientious efforts to comply with every 
requirement of health, purity, morality, and the laws of 
nature, will accomplish wonders in securing healthy 
children with good dispositions, brilliant intellects, and 
beautiful bodies. 

This is not the proper place to describe in detail a 
plan to be pursued ; but the few hints given, if rightly 



appreciated, may enable those interested in the subject 
to plan for themselves a proper course. In concluding 
the subject, we may summarize its chief points as fol- 
lows, for the purpose of impressing them more fully upon 
the mind : — 

The Origin of Evil.— 1. If a child is begotten in 
lust, its lower passions will as certainly be abnormally 
developed as peas will produce peas, or potatoes pro- 
duce potatoes. If the child does not become a rake or 
a prostitute, it will be because of uncommonly fortu- 
nate surroundings, or a miracle of divine grace. But 
even then, what terrible struggles with sin and vice, 
with foul thoughts and lewd imaginations, — the product 
of a naturally abnormal mind, — must such an individual 
suffer ! If he is unsuccessful in the conflict, is he alone to 
blame ? Society, his fellow-men, will censure him alone ; 
but He who knoweth all the secrets of human life, will 
pass a more lenient judgment on the erring one, and 
mete out punishment where it most belongs. 

2. The same remarks apply with equal force to the 
transmission of other qualities. If the interest of the par- 
ents is only for self, with no thought for the well-being 
of the one whose destiny is in their hands, they can ex- 
pect naught but a selfish character, a sordid, greedy dis- 
position, in the child. 

3. The influence of the father is, at the outset, as 
great as that of the mother. The unhappy or immoral 
thoughts of one alone at the critical moment w T hen life is 
imparted, may fix for eternity a foul blot upon the char- 
acter yet unformed. 

4. If during gestation the mother is fretful, complain- 
ing and exacting ; if she requires to be petted and 


waited upon ; if she gratifies every idle whim and in- 
dulges every depraved desire and perverted appetite, 
as thousands of mothers do, — the result will surely be a 
peevish, fretful child, that will develop into a morose and 
irritable man or woman, imperious, unthankful, disobe- 
dient, willful, gluttonous, and vicious. 

How to Beget Sound Children.— If such undesirable 
results would be avoided, the following suggestions 
should be regarded : — 

1. For the beginning of a new life, select the most 
favorable time, which will be when the bodily health is 
at its hight ; when the mind is free from care and anx- 
iety ; when the heart is joyous, cheerful, and filled with 
hope, love, high aspirations, pure and beautiful thoughts. 
If, as one writer says, it is the duty of every human 
pair engaging in the reproductive act, to bring into exist- 
ence the most perfect specimen of the race of which 
they are capable, then it becomes a monstrous crime to 
enter into relations which may produce a contrary 
result. This may be a truth hard to accept, but who is 
prepared to dispute it on logical or moral grounds ? 

2. If a child has been properly conceived, the duty 
then devolves upon the mother to secure its proper 
development. Is beauty desired, let the mother be 
surrounded with beautiful objects; and let her mind 
dwell upon such objects. If an active mind and brilliant 
intellect are required, the mother should devote cod 
siderable time to study and mental labor of a pleasant 
nature. The moral nature should be carefully culti- 
vated, to insure a lovely disposition. No angry words 
or unhappy feelings should be tolerated. Purity of 
heart and life should be maintained. The husband 


should do his part by supplying favorable surroundings, 
suggesting cheerful thoughts, and aiding mental culture. 

3. After birth, the mother still possesses a molding 
influence upon the development of her child through 
the lacteal secretion. Every mother knows how 
speedily the child will suffer if nursed when she is 
exhausted by physical labor or when suffering from 
nervous excitement, as anger or grief. These facts 
show the influence which the mental states of the 
mother exert upon the child, even when the act of 
nursing is the only physical bond between them. 

It would be a happy day for the race which should 
witness the recognition of the fact that infants, even 
human beings in embryo, possess rights which are as 
sacred as those of adult human beings. 

This whole subject is more fully treated by the 
author in special works, full information concerning 
which can be obtained by those wishing to know more 
on this subject, by addressing him personally. 

hygiene for Women ig Advanced Life, 

HANGE OF LIFE.— The two most important 
periods in a woman's life are those which mark 
the beginning and the end of the menstrual function. 
The duration of sexual activity in women is 
usually thirty-two years, extending from the average 
age of thirteen to forty-five or forty-six. There is 
great individual variation in this respect, however, the 
termination of the menstrual function in some persons 
occurring as early as the thirtieth year, while in others 
it is delayed until the age of sixty or upwards. In a 
case under the author's care a few years ago, the patient, 
aged sixty, was still menstruating regularly. It is never 
possible to predict with any degree of accuracy just at 
what age the change of life, or menopause, will occur. 

The physical changes which occur at the change of 
life, are the opposite to those which mark the period of 
puberty. The ovaries, womb, and vagina undergo a 
process of atrophy, or shrinkage, by which they become 
reduced to a smaller size than before development oc- 

The symptoms which mark the beginning of the 
change of life are : irregularity of the menses, both as 
to time and quantity ; nervousness and general decline 
of health, signified by loss of flesh, and various disturb- 
ances in the stomach, bowels, bladder, and other organs ; 



occasionally eruptions of the skin, particularly upon the 
face ; sometimes a slight growth of hair upon the upper 
lip; suffering from neuralgia, nervousness, and sometimes 
hysteria; complaint of sudden flushing of the face, or 
" rush of blood to the head ; " the hands, legs, and trunk 
of the body may be affected, as well as the head and 
face. These flushings are sudden, and usually last but 
a few minutes, and are followed by profuse perspiration. 
Sometimes a perspiration does not occur, a condition 
known as " dry flushing," which is much more distress- 
ing than the ordinary form, taking its place. Profuse 
perspiration sometimes occurs during sleep, and is very 
likely to follow excitement, either mental or nervous. 
A great variety of other symptoms, involving nearly 
every organ of the body, are present during this period. 

One of the dangers which should be especially men- 
tioned, is the liability of morbid growths to make their 
appearance at this time. Various tumors of the womb, 
as fibroids and cancers, select this as their favorite time 
of attack. A cancer is not likely to occur, however, un- 
less the womb has some time been torn at childbirth, and 
through neglect the laceration has not been repaired. 
Growths of the urethra are not unlikely to occur at this 

Hygiene of the Menopause.— Many of the ills to 
which women are subject at this period, may be avoided 
by proper preventive measures. Pre-existing disease 
of the womb, which through neglect or improper treat- 
ment has not been cured, lays the foundation for much 
suffering at this time. It is indeed probable that previous 
womb disease is the leading cause of suffering at this 
period, as it is hardly supposable that in the normal state 


such vital disturbances and great suffering as are ob- 
served at this period would occur. This emphasizes the 
importance of adopting such measures as will secure re- 
lief from whatever local disorders may exist before this 
period arrives, thus avoiding much of the inconvenience 
and suffering of later years to which the individual will 
otherwise be exposed. The following suggestions will 
be found of especial service in preventing and mitigating 
the sufferings attendant at this period : — 

1. Individuals passing through the change of life 
should be relieved from all burdensome cares, and should 
be kept free from all sources of worry and excitement. 
Cheerfulness and harmony of spirits are particularly im- 
portant. If this cannot be obtained at home, arrange- 
ments should be made for the patient to go to some 
suitable place away from home for a few weeks or 

2. Special attention should be given to diet, which 
should be simple, wholesome, and nourishing, but free 
from exciting stimulants of all sorts. Tea and coffee, as 
well as all other narcotics and stimulants, should be 
studiously avoided. The enforcement of this rule is 
sometimes difficult, owing to the intense craving for 
nerve stimulants which many women experience at this 
period. Bitters and patent medicines of all sorts do a 
great deal of mischief when employed as they are apt to 
be. Their use is wholly without good results, and is 
often productive of almost irreparable damage. 

3. The general health should be maintained by all 
possible means. Outdoor exercises, carriage-riding when 
the patient is unable to take a sufficient amount of exer- 
cise by walking, are to be commended. Careful atten- 


tion should be given to the bowels, which may be emptied 
regularly by the use of coarse grains, and an abundance 
of fruit, etc. 

4. The flushings or profuse perspirations are best 
relieved by hot saline sponge baths, hot and cold appli- 
cations to the spine, and the avoidance of all sources of 
physical, mental, or nervous excitement. 

5. Most of the local symptoms which give annoyance 
at this period may be relieved by the hot vaginal douche. 
The distressing leucorrhceal discharge, accompanied by 
violent itching, which often makes its appearance just 
after the change of life, may usually be relieved by ap- 
propriate treatment, though there is no one method 
which will answer for all cases. 

A Chapter for Married People. 

'T seems to be a generally prevalent opinion that the 
marriage ceremony removes all restraint from the 
exercise of the sexual functions. Few seem to even 
** suspect that the seventh commandment has any 
hearing upon sexual conduct within the pale of matri- 
mony. Yet if we may believe the confessions and 
statements of men and women, legalized prostitution is 
a more common crime than illicit commerce of the sexes. 
So common is the popular error upon this subject, and 
so strongly fortified by prejudice, that it is abso- 
lutely dangerous for a writer or speaker to express the 
truth, if he knows it and has a disposition to do so. Any 
attempt to call attention to true principles is mocked at, 
decried, stigmatized, and, if possible, extinguished. The 
author is vilified, and his work is denounced, and rele- 
gated to the ragman. Extremist, fanatic, ascetic, are 
the mildest terms employed concerning him, and he 
escapes with rare good fortune if his chastity or virility 
is not assailed. 

We are not going to run any such risks, and so shall 
not attempt to enunciate or maintain any theory. We 
shall content ourselves with plainly stating established 
physiological facts by quotations from standard medical 
authors, leaving each reader to draw conclusions and 
construct a practical formula for himself. 



Object of the Reproductive Functions, — Man, in 
whatever condition we find him, is more or less depraved. 
This is true as well of the most cultivated and refined 
ladies and gentlemen of the great centers of civilization, 
as of the misshapen denizens of African jungles, or the 
scarcely human natives of Australia and Terra del Fuego. 
His appetites, his tastes, his habits, even his bodily 
functions, are perverted. Of course, there are degrees 
of depravity and varieties of perversion. In some 
respects, savages approach more nearly to the natural 
state than civilized man, and in other particulars, the 
latter more nearly represents man's natural condition ; 
but in neither barbarism nor civilization do we find man 
in his primitive state. 

In consequence of this universal departure from his 
original normal condition, — the causes of which we need 
not here trace, since they are immaterial in the consid- 
eration of this question, — when we wish to ascertain 
with certainty the functions of particular organs of the 
human body, we are obliged to compare them with the 
corresponding organs of lower animals, and study the 
functions of the latter. It is by this method of investi- 
gation that most of the important truths of physiology 
have been developed ; and the plan is universally 
acknowledged to be a proper and logical one. 

The Sexual Function in Lower Animals.— Then if 
we wish to ascertain, with certainty, the true function 
of the reproductive organs in man, we must pursue the 
course above indicated ; in other words, study the 
function of reproduction in lower animals. We say 
lower animals, because man is really an animal, a member 
of the great animal kingdom, though not a beast, — at 


least, he should not be a beast, though some animals in 
human form approach very closely to the line that 
separates humanity from brutes. We are brought, then, 
for a solution of this problem, to a consideration of the 
question, What is the object of the reproductive act in 
those members of the animal kingdom just below man in 
the scale of being? Let science tell us; for zoologists 
have made a careful study of this subject for centuries. 

We quote the following paragraphs from one of the 
most distinguished and reliable of modern physiologists,* 
the facts which he states being confirmed by all other 
physiologists : — 

" Every living being has a definite term of life, 
through which it passes by the operation of an invariable 
law, and which, at some regularly appointed time, comes 
to an end. . . . But while individual organisms are 
thus constantly perishing and disappearing from the 
stage, the particular kind, or species, remains in exist- 
ence. . . . This process, by which new organisms 
make their appearance to take the place of those which 
are destroyed, is known as the process of reproduction, or 

66 The ovaries, as well as the eggs which they contain, 
undergo, at particular seasons, a periodical development, 
or increase in growth. ... At the approach of the gener- 
ative season, in all the lower animals, a certain number 
of the eggs, which were previously in an imperfect and 
inactive condition, begin to increase in size, and become 
somewhat altered in structure." 

" In most fish and reptiles, as well as in birds, this 
regular process of maturation and discharge of eggs takes 

* Dalton. 


place but once in a year. In different species of quad- 
rupeds, it may take place annually, semi-annually, bi- 
monthly, or even monthly ; but in every instance, it re- 
curs at regular intervals, and exhibits accordingly, in a 
marked degree, the periodic character which we have 
seen to belong to most of the other vital phenomena." 

Periodical Reproduction,—" In most of the lower 
orders of animals there is a periodical development of the 
testicles in the male, corresponding in time with that of 
the ovaries in the female. As the ovaries enlarge, and the 
eggs ripen in the one sex, so in the other the testicles in- 
crease in size, as the season of reproduction approaches, 
and become turgid with spermatozoa. The accessory 
organs of generation, at the same time, share the unusual 
activity of the testicles, and become increased in vascu- 
larity, and ready to perform their part in the reproductive 

" Each of the two sexes is then at the same time 
under the influence of a corresponding excitement. The 
unusual development of the genital organs reacts upon the 
entire system, and produces a state of peculiar activity 
and excitability, known as the condition of ' erethism.' " 

A Lesson from Instinct, — " It is a remarkable fact, 
in this connection, that the female of these animals will 
allow the approaches of the male only during and imme- 
diately after the oestral period ; that is, just when the egg 
is recently discharged, and ready for impregnation. At 
other times, when sexual intercourse would be necessarily 
fruitless, the instinct of the animal leads her to avoid it; 
and the concourse of the sexes is accordingly made to 
correspond in time with the maturity of the egg and its 
aptitude for fecundation." 


" The egg, immediately upon its discharge from the 
ovary, is ready for impregnation. If sexual intercourse 
happens to take place about that time, the egg and the 
spermatic fluid meet in some part of the female generative 
passages, and fecundation is accomplished. ... If, on 
the other hand, coitus does not take place, the egg passes 
down to the uterus unimpregnated, loses its vitality 
after a short time, and is finally carried away with the 
uterine secretions." 

" It is easily understood, therefore, why sexual inter- 
course should be more liable to be followed by pregnancy 
when it occurs about the menstrual epoch than at other 
times. . . . Before its discharge, the egg is immature, 
and unprepared for impregnation ; and after the menstrual 
period has passed, it gradually loses its freshness and 

The law of periodicity, as it affects the sexual 
activity of males of the human species, is indicated in 
the following remarks by the same author : — 

" The same correspondence between the periods of 
sexual excitement in the male and female, is visible in 
many of the animals [higher mammals], as well as in 
fish and reptiles. This is the case in most species which 
produce young but once a year, and at a fixed period, 
as the deer and the wild hog. In other species, on the 
contrary, such as the dog, the rabbit, the guinea-pig, 
etc., where several broods of young are produced during 
the year, or where, as in the human subject, the genera- 
tive epochs of the female recur at short intervals, so that 
the particular period of impregnation is comparatively 
indefinite, the generative apparatus of the male is almost 
always in a state of full development, and is excited to 


action at particular periods, apparently by some influence 
derived from the condition of the female." 

Summary of Important Facts.— The facts presented 
in the foregoing quotations from Dr. Dalton may be 
summarized as follows : — 

1. The sexual function is for the purpose of produc- 
ing new individuals to take the place of those who die, 
and thus preserve the species from becoming extinct. 

2. In the animal kingdom generally, the reproductive 
function is necessarily a periodical act, dependent upon 
the development of the reproductive organs of both the 
male and the female at stated periods. 

3. In those exceptional cases in which the organs of 
the male are in a state of constant development, sexual 
congress occurs, in lower animals, only at those times 
when the periodical development occurs in the female. 

4. Fecundation of the female element can only take 
place about the time of periodical development in the 

5. The desire for sexual congress naturally exists 
in the female only at or immediately after the time of 
periodical development. 

6. The constant development of the sexual organs 
in human males is a condition common to all animals in 
which development occurs in the female at short intervals, 
and is a provision of nature to secure a fruitful union 
when the female is in readiness, but not an indication 
for constant or frequent use. 

7. The time of sexual congress is always determined 
by the condition and desires of the female. 

A Hint from Nature. — An additional fact, as stated 
by physiologists, is that, under normal conditions, the 


human female experiences sexual desire immediately 
after menstruation more than at any other time. It has, 
indeed, been claimed that at this period only does she 
experience the true sexual instinct, unless it is abnor- 
mally excited by disease or otherwise. 

From these facts the following conclusions must 
evidently be drawn : — 

1. The fact that in all animals but the human 
species the act can be performed only when reproduction 
is possible, proves that in the animal kingdom in general 
the sole object of the function is reproduction. Whether 
man is an exception, must be determined from other 

2. The fact that the males of other animals besides man, 
in which the sexual organs are in a state of constant de- 
velopment, do not exercise those organs except for the 
purpose of reproduction, is proof of the position that the 
constant development in man is not a warrant for their 
constant use. 

3. The general law that the reproductive act is 
performed only when desired by the female, is sufficient 
ground for supposing that such should be the case with 
the human species also. 

Some Valuable Opinions.— The opinions of several 
writers of note are given in the following quotations : — 

" The approach of the sexes is, in its purest con- 
dition, the result of a natural instinct, the end of which 
is the reproduction of the species. Still, however, we 
are far from saying that this ultimate result is, in any 
proportion of cases, the actual thought in the minds of 
the parties engaged." 

" The very lively solicitations which spring from the 


genital sense, have no other end than to insure the 
perpetuity of the race." * 

" Observation fully confirms the views of inductive 
philosophy; for it proves to us that coitus, exercised 
otherwise than under the inspirations of honest instinct, 
is a cause of disease in both sexes, and of danger to the 
social order." f 

" It is incredible that the act of bringing men into 
life, that act of humanity, without contradiction of the 
most importance, should be the one of which there 
should have been the least supposed necessity for regu- 
lation, or which has been regulated the least bene- 

" But it may be said that the demands of nature are, 
in the married state, not only legal, but should be 
physically right. So they are, when our physical life 
is right ; but it must not be forgotten that few live in a 
truly physical rectitude." § 

" Among cattle, the sexes meet by common instinct 
and common will ; it is reserved for the human animal 
to treat the female as a mere victim to his lust." || 

" He is an ill husband that uses Ms wife as a man 
treats a harlot, having no other end but pleasure : con- 
cerning which our best rule is, that although in this, as 
in eating and drinking, there is an appetite to be satis- 
fied, which cannot be done without pleasing that desire ; 
yet, since that desire and satisfaction were intended by 
nature for other ends, they should never be separated 
from those ends." 

" It is a sad truth that many married persons, think- 

*Dr. Gardner. f Mayer. JDunoyer. § Gardner. 

|| Quarterly Revieic. 


ing that the flood-gates of liberty are set wide open, 
without measures or restraints (so they sail in the 
channel), have felt the final rewards of intemperance 
and lust by their unlawful using of lawful permissions. 
Only let each of them be temperate, and both of them 
modest." * 

Says another writer very emphatically, " It is a 
common belief that a man and woman, because they are 
legally united in marriage, are privileged to the unbridled 
exercise of amativeness. This is wrong. Nature, in 
the exercise of her laws, recognizes no human enact- 
ments, and is as prompt to punish any infringement of 
her laws in those who are legally married, as in those 
out of the bonds. Excessive indulgence between the 
married produces as great and lasting evil effects as in 
the single man or woman, and is nothing more nor less 
than legalized prostitution." 

Results of Excesses. — The sad results of excessive 
indulgences are seen on every hand. Numerous ail- 
ments attributed to overwork, constitutional disease, or 
hereditary predisposition, know no other cause and need 
no other explanation. 

Effects upon Husbands,— No doubt the principal 
blame in this matter properly falls upon the husband ; 
but it cannot be said that he is the greatest sufferer ; 
however, his punishment is severe enough to clearly in- 
dicate the enormity of the transgression, and to warn 
him to a reformation of his habits. The following is a 
quotation from an eminent medical authority : — 

" But any warning against sexual dangers would be 
very incomplete if it did not extend to the excesses so 

* Jeremy Taylor. 



often committed by married persons in ignorance of their 
ill effects. Too frequent emissions of the lifegiving fluid, 
and too frequent excitement of the nervous system, are in 
themselves most destructive. The result is the same 
within the marriage bond as without it. The married 
man who thinks that because he is a married man he 
can commit no excess, however often the act of sexual 
congress is repeated, will suffer as certainly and as 
seriously as the unmarried debauchee who acts on the 
same principle in his indulgences, — perhaps more cer- 
tainly, from his very ignorance, and from his not taking 
those precautions and following those rules which a 
career of vice is apt to teach the sensualist. 

" Many a man has, until his marriage, lived a most 
continent life ; so has his wife. As soon as they are 
wedded, intercourse is indulged in night after night, 
neither party having any idea that these repeated sex- 
ual acts are excesses which the system of neither can 
bear, and which, to the man at least, are absolute ruin. 
The practice is continued till health is impaired, some- 
times permanently ; and when a patient is at last obliged 
to seek medical advice, he is thunderstruck at learning 
that his sufferings arise from excesses unwittingly com- 
mitted. Married people often appear to think that con- 
nection may be repeated as regularly and almost as often 
as their meals. Till they are told of the danger, the 
idea never enters their heads that they are guilty of 
great and almost criminal excess ; nor is this to be won- 
dered at, since the possibility of such a cause of disease 
is seldom hinted at by the medical man they consult." 

" Some go so far as to believe that indulgence may 
increase these powers, just as gymnastic exercises aug- 


ment the force of the muscles. This is a popular error, 
and requires correction. Such patients should be told 
that the shock on the system each time connection is 
indulged in, is very powerful, and that the expenditure 
of seminal fluid must be particularly injurious to organs 
previously debilitated. It is by this and similar excesses 
that premature old age and complaints of the generative 
organs are brought on." 

" The length to which married people carry excesses 
is perfectly astonishing." 

Consequences of Excess. — " Since my attention has 
been particularly called to this class of ailments, I feel 
confident that many of the forms of indigestion, general 
ill health, hypochondriasis, etc., so often met with in 
adults, depend upon sexual excesses. . . . That 
this cause of illness is not more generally acknowledged 
and acted on, arises from the natural delicacy which 
medical men must feel in putting such questions to their 
patients as are necessary to elicit the facts." 

" It is not the body alone which suffers from excesses 
committed in married life. Experience every day con- 
vinces me that much of the languor of mind, confusion 
of ideas, and inability to control the thoughts, of which 
some married men complain, arise from this cause." * 

The debilitating effects of excessive sexual indulgence 
arise from two causes ; viz., the loss of the seminal fluid, 
and the nervous excitement. With reference to the 
value of the spermatic fluid, Dr. Gardner remarks : — 

" The sperm is the purest extract of the blood. . . . 
Nature, in creating it, has intended it not only to com- 
municate life, but also to nourish the individual life. In 

* Acton. 


fact, the re-absorption of the fecundating liquid impresses 
upon the entire economy new energy, and a virility 
which contributes to the prolongation of life." 

Another case came under our observation in which 
the patient, a man, confessed to having indulged every 
night for twenty years. We did not wonder that at 
forty he was a complete physical wreck. 

Continence of Athletes.—" The moderns who are 
training are well aware that sexual indulgence wholly 
unfits them for great feats of strength, and the captain 
of a boat strictly forbids his crew anything of the sort 
just previous to a match. Some trainers have gone so 
far as to assure me that they can discover by a man's 
style of pulling whether he has committed such a breach 
of discipline over night, and have not scrupled to attrib- 
ute the occasional loss of matches to this cause." * 

A Cause of Throat Disease. — The disease known as 
clergymans sore throat is believed by many eminent 
physicians to have its chief origin in excessive venery. 
It is well known that sexual abuse is a very potent 
cause of throat diseases. This view is supported by the 
following from the pen of the learned Dr. X. Bourgeois : — 

" We ought not, then, to be surprised that the 
physiological act, requiring so great an expenditure of 
vitality, must be injurious in the highest degree, when 
it is reiterated abusively. To engender is to give a 
portion of one's life. Does not he who is prodigal of 
himself, precipitate his own ruin ? A peculiar character 
of the diseases which have their origin in venereal 
excesses and masturbation is chronicity." 

" Individual predispositions, acquired or hereditary, 

* Acton. 


engender for each a series of peculiar ills. In some, the 
d< bility bears upon the pulmonary organs. Hence re- 
sult the dry cough, prolonged hoarseness, stitch in the 
side, spitting of blood, and finally phthisis. How many 
examples are there of young debauchees who have been 
devoured by this cruel disease ! ... It is, of all 
the grave maladies, the one which venereal abuses pro- 
voke the most frequently. Portal, Bayle, Louis, say 
this distinctly." 

The author has met a large number of cases which 
fully verified the above statements. In fact, in quite a 
large proportion of cases suffering from sexual excesses 
which have come under his care, some form of throat 
ailment has been present. 

A Cause of Consumption. — This fatal disease finds a 
large share of its victims among those addicted to sexual 
excesses, either of an illicit nature or within the marriage 
pale; for the physical effects are essentially identical. 
This cause is especially active and fatal with sedentary 
persons, but is sufficiently powerful to undermine the 
constitution under the most favorable circumstances, as 
the following case illustrates : — 

The patient was a young man of twenty-two, large, 
muscular, and well developed, having uncommonly broad 
shoulders and a full chest. His occupation had been 
healthful, that of a laborer. He had had cough for sev- 
eral months, and was spitting blood. Examination of 
the lungs showed that they were hopelessly diseased. 
There was no trace of consumption in the family, and 
the only cause to which the disease could be attributed 
was excessive sexual indulgence, which he confessed to 
having practiced for several years. 


Prostatic Troubles. — One of the most distressing 
symptoms of advanced age is enlargement of the prostate. 
Men who give themselves up to sexual excesses, find 
themselves at middle age or even sooner, suffering with 
these disorders, even in a very grave form. We have 
met a number of instances in which a difficulty of this 
kind existed, but disappeared very readily when the 
patient corrected his habits by adopting a continent life. 

Effect on Wives.— If husbands are great sufferers, as 
we have seen, wives suffer still more terribly, being of 
feebler constitution, and hence less able to bear the fre- 
quent shock which is suffered by the nervous system. 
Dr. Gardner places this evil prominent among the causes 
" the result of which we see deplored in the public press 
of the day, which warns us that the American race is 
fast dying out, and that its place is being filled by emi- 
grants of different lineage, religion, political ideas, and 

The same author remarks further on the results of 
this with other causes which largely grow out of it : — 

" It has been a matter of common observation that 
the physical status of the women of Christendom has 
been gradually deteriorating ; that their mental energies 
were uncertain and spasmodic ; that they were prema- 
turely care-worn, wrinkled, and enervated ; that they 
became subject to a host of diseases scarcely ever known 
to the professional men of past times, but now familiar 
to, and the common talk of, the matrons, and often, in- 
deed, of the youngest females in the community." 

So prevalent are these maladies that Michelet says 
with truth that the present is the " age of womb dis- 


An Illustrative Case.— Every physician of observa- 
tion and experience has met many cases illustrative of the 
serious effects of the evil named. Many years ago, when 
the author was acting as assistant in a large dispensary in 
an Eastern city, a young woman applied for examination 
and treatment. She presented a great variety of nervous 
symptoms, prominent among which were those of mild 
hysteria and nervous exhaustion, together with impaired 
digestion and violent palpitation of the heart. In our 
inquiries respecting the cause of these difficulties, we 
learned that she had been married about six months. A 
little careful questioning elicited the fact that sexual in- 
dulgence was invariably practiced every night, and often 
two or three times, occasionally as many as four times a 

We had the key to her troubles at once, and ordered 
entire continence for a month. From her subsequent 
reports I learned that her husband would not allow her 
to comply with the request, but that indulgence was 
much less frequent than before. The result was not all 
that could be desired, but there was marked improve- 
ment. If the husband had been willing to " do right," 
entire recovery would have taken place with rapidity. 

Thousands of unfortunate wives are constantly under 
the doctor's care for the treatment of local ailments 
which have their sole origin in sexual excesses for which 
their husbands are responsible. It is not overstating 
the matter when we say that we have met hundreds of 
cases of this sort, and scores of times have we been re- 
quested by suffering wives to appeal to their husbands 
in their behalf. 

Something for Husbands to Consider. — We take 


pleasure in quoting the following remarks from an address 
of the eminent Prof. T. Parvin, M. D., of Jefferson 
Medical College, Philadelphia : — 

" In woman, love throbs in every pulse, thrills in 
every nerve and fiber of her being ; her life is love. She 
gives herself to the one she truly loves. If you find out 
the history of poor seduced girls, those who, as is so com- 
monly said, loved not wisely but too well, you will find 
that in almost all cases they yielded to the seducer in 
no paroxysm of sensual passion, but because they loved 
and trusted with their whole heart ; they fell because 
they sought not their own, but the gratification of an- 
other. I do not believe one bride in a hundred, of deli- 
cate, educated, sensitive women, accepts matrimony from 
any desire of sexual gratification ; when she thinks of 
this at all, it is with shrinking, rather than with desire. 
Happy that union in which the husband understands the 
womanly nature. 

" On the other hand, how many women are made 
wretched by the husband who thinks the highest end of 
marriage is copulation, and that his wife ought to be 
equally amorous with himself. 

" It is a mistake to suppose that the kindness, the 
kiss, and the loving embrace of the wife are, in general, 
the expression of sexual desire. The following was the 
exclamation, to me, of a most refined and cultivated 
lady, the mother of five children, and who dearly loved 
her husband : ' Ho tt : often we wives would caress our 
husbands if we did not know the inevitable conse- 
quences ! ' I know that I am right as to the womanly 
nature, and I know that if men generally thus believed, 
there would be less licentiousness, purer and happier 


wedded life, and healthier women ; for how many women 
are rendered miserable, both morally and physically, by 
the sexual excesses and brutalities of husbands ! 

In confirmation of these statements we quote the 
following from an author whose name frequently appears 
in this work, the eminent Dr. Acton : — 

" I have taken pains to obtain and compare abun- 
dant evidence on this subject, and the result of my 
inquiries I may briefly epitomize as follows : I should 
say that the majority of women, happily for them, are 
not very much troubled with sexual feeling of any kind. 
What men are habitually, women are only exceptionally. 
I admit, of course, the existence of sexual excitement, 
terminating even in nymphomania, a form of insanity 
that those accustomed to visit lunatic asylums must be 
fully conversant with ; but, with these sad exceptions, 
there can be no doubt that sexual feeling in the female 
is, in the majority of cases, in abeyance, and that it re- 
quires positive and considerable excitement to be roused 
at all ; and even if roused, which in many instances it 
never can be, is very moderate compared with that of 
the male. 

" Many men, and particularly young men, form their 
ideas of women's feelings from what they notice early 
in life among loose, or at least low and vulgar women. 
There is always a certain number of females who, 
though not ostensibly prostitutes, make a kind of trade 
of a pretty face. They are fond of admiration; they 
like to attract the attention of those immediately around 
them. Any susceptible boy is easily led to believe, 
whether he is not altogether overcome by the siren 
or not, that she, and hence all women, must have at least 


as strong passions as himself. Such women, however, 
give a very false idea of the condition of sexual feeling 
in general. Association with the loose women of Lon- 
don streets, in casinos and other immoral haunts, who, if 
they have not sexual feeling, counterfeit it so well that 
the novice does not suspect but that it is genuine, all 
seem to corroborate such an impression. 

" Married men, medical men, or married women 
themselves, would, if appealed to, tell a different tale, 
and vindicate female nature from the vile aspersions cast 
on it by the abandoned conduct and ungoverned lust of 
a few of its worst examples. There are many females 
who never feel any excitement whatever. Others, 
again, immediately after each period, do become, to a 
limited degree, capable of experiencing it ; but this ca- 
pacity is only temporary, and will cease entirely until 
the next menstrual period. The best mothers, wives, 
and managers of households know little or nothing 
of sexual indulgences. Love of home, of children, 
of domestic duties, are the only passions they feel. As 
a general rule, a modest woman seldom desires any 
sexual gratification for herself. She submits to her 
husband, but only to please him ; and but for the desire 
of maternity, would far rather be relieved from his at- 

The Greatest Cause of Uterine Disease. — Br. J. R. 
Black remarks as follows on this subject : — 

" Medical writers agree that one of the most com- 
mon causes of the many forms of derangement to which 
woman is subject consists in excessive cohabitation. 
The diseases known as menorrhagia, dysmenorrhea, 
leucorrhcea, amenorrhcea, abortions, prolapsus, chronic 


inflammations and ulcerations of the womb, with a yet 
greater variety of sympathetic nervous disorders, are 
some of the distressing forms of these derangements. 
The popular way of accounting for many of these ills is 
that they come from colds or from straining lifts. But 
if colds and great strain upon the parts in question de- 
velop such diseases, why are they not seen among the infe- 
rior animals ? The climatic alternations they endure, the 
severe labor some of them are obliged to perform, ought 
to cause their ruin ; or else, in popular phrase, ' make 
them catch their death 0' cold.' " 

Legalized Murder, — A medical writer of considerable 
ability presents the following picture, the counterpart of 
which almost any one can recall as having occurred 
within the circle of his acquaintance ; perhaps numerous 
cases will be recalled by one who has been especially 
observing : — 

" A man of great vital force is united to a woman of 
evenly-balanced organization. The husband, in the ex- 
ercise of what he is pleased to term his ' marital rights,' 
places his wife, in a short time, on the nervous, 
delicate, sickly list. In the blindness and ignorance of 
his animal nature, he requires prompt obedience to his 
desires ; and, ignorant of the law of right in this 
direction, thinking that it is her duty to accede to his 
wishes, though fulfilling them with a sore and troubled 
heart, she allows him passively, never lovingly, to exer- 
cise daily and weekly, month in and month out, the low 
and beastly of his nature, and eventually, slowly but 
surely, to kill her. And this man, who has as surely 
committed murder as has the convicted assassin, lures 
to his net and takes unto himself another wife, to repeat 


the same program of legalized prostitution on his part, 
and sickness and premature death on her part." 

Prof. Gerrish, in a little work from which we take 
the liberty to quote, speaks as follows on this subject : — 

" One man, reckless of his duty to the community, 
marries young, with means and prospects inadequate to. 
support the family which is so sure to come ere long. 
His ostensible excuse is love ; his real reason, the grati- 
fication of his carnal instincts. Another man, in exactly 
similar circumstances, but too conscientious to assume 
responsibilities which he cannot carry, and in which 
failure must compromise the comfort and tax the purses 
of people from whom he has no right to extort luxuries, 
forbears to marry ; but, feeling the passions of his sex, 
and being imbued with the prevalent errors on such 
matters, resorts for relief to unlawful coition. At the 
wedding of the former, pious friends assemble with their 
presents and congratulations, and bid the legalized pros- 
titution God-speed. Love shields the crime, all the more 
easily because so many of the rejoicing guests have 
sinned in precisely the same way. The other man has 
no festival gathering. . . . Society applauds the first and 
frowns on the second ; but, to my mind, the difference 
between them is not markedly in favor of the former." 

" We hear a good deal said about certain crimes 
against nature, such as pederasty and sodomy, and they 
meet with the indignant condemnation of all right- 
minded persons. The statutes are especially severe on 
offenders of this class, the penalty being imprisonment 
between one and ten years, whereas fornication is pun- 
ished by imprisonment for not more than sixty days 
and a fine of less than one hundred dollars. But the 


query very pertinently arises just here as to whether 
the use of the condom and defertilizing injections is not 
equally a crime against nature, and quite as worthy of 
our detestation and contempt. And, further, when we 
consider the brute creation, and see that they, guided 
by instinct, copulate only when the female is in proper 
physiological condition and yields a willing consent, it 
may be suggested that congress between men and 
women may, in certain circumstances, be a crime against 
nature, and one far worse in its results than any other. 
Is it probable that a child born of a connection to which 
the woman objects, will possess that felicitous organiza- 
tion which every parent should earnestly desire and 
endeavor to bestow on his offspring ? Can the unwelcome 
fruit of a rape be considered, what every child has a right 
to be, a pledge of affection ? Poor little Pip, in ' Great 
Expectations,' spoke as the representative of a numerous 
class when he said, ' I was always treated as if I had 
insisted on being born, in opposition to the dictates of 
reason, religion, and morality, and against the dissuading 
arguments of my best friends.' We enjoin the young to 
honor father and mother, never thinking how undeserving 
of respect are those whose children suffer from inherited 
ills, the result of the selfishness and carelessness of their 
parents in begetting them. 

Accidental Pregnancies.—" These accidental preg- 
nancies are the great immediate cause of the enormously 
common crime of abortion, concerning which the morals 
of the people are amazingly blunted. The extent of the 
practice may be roughly estimated by the number of 
standing advertisements in the family newspapers, in 
which feticide is warranted safe and secret. It is not 


the poor only who take advantage of such nefarious 
opportunities ; but the rich shamelessly patronize these 
professional and cowardly murderers of defenseless in- 
fancy. Madame Restell, who died by her own hand in 
New York, left a fortune of a million dollars, which she 
had accumulated by producing abortions.'' 

A husband who has not sunk in his carnality too far 
below the brute creation will certainly pause a moment, 
in the face of such terrible faots, before he continues his 
sensual, selfish, murderous course. 

Indulgence during Menstruation.— The following 
remarks which our own professional experience has sev- 
eral times confirmed, reveal a still more heinous violation 
of nature's laws : — 

" To many it may seem that it is unnecessary to 
caution against contracting relationships at the period of 
the monthly flow, thinking that the instinctive laws of 
cleanliness and delicacy were sufficient to refrain the 
indulgence of the appetites ; but they are little cognizant 
of the true condition of things in this world. Often have 
I had husbands inform me that they had not missed 
having sexual relations with their wives once or more 
times a day for several years ; and scores of women with 
delicate frames and broken-down health have revealed 
to me similar facts, and I have been compelled to make 
personal appeals to the husbands." * 

The following is an important testimony by an emi- 
nent physician -j* upon the same point : — 

" Females whose health is in a weak state . . .be- 
come liable, in transgressing this law, to an infectious 
disorder, which, it is commonly supposed, can only 

* Gardner. f Dr. J. R. Black. 


originate or prevail among disreputable characters ; but 
Dr. Bumstead and a number of other eminent authorities 
believe and teach that gonorrhoea may originate among 
women entirely virtuous in the ordinary sense of the 
term. That excessive venery is the chief cause that 
originates this peculiar form of inflammation, has long 
been the settled opinion of medical men." 

It seems scarcely possible that such enormity could 
be committed by any human being, at least by civilized 
men, and in the face of the injunctions of Moses to the 
Jews, to say nothing of the evident indecency of the 
act. The Jews still maintain their integrity to the 
observance of this command of their ancient lawgiver. 

" Reason and experience both show that sexual rela- 
tions at the menstrual period are very dangerous to both 
man and woman, and perhaps also for the offspring, 
should there chance to be conception." * 

The woman suffers from the congestion and nervous 
excitement which occur at the most inopportune moment 
possible. Man may suffer physical injury P though there 
are no grounds for the assertion of Pliny that the men- 
strual blood is so potent for evil that it will, by a mere 
touch, rust iron, render a tree sterile, make dogs mad, 
etc., or that of Paracelsus that " of it the devil makes 
spiders, fleas, caterpillars, and all the other insects that 
people the air." 

Indulgence during menstruation is liable to produce 
violent hemorrhage, internal congestion, and even inflam- 
mation in the woman, and in the man an inflammation 
of the urethra, identical with gonorrhoea. One of the 
most inveterate cases of catarrhal inflammation of the 

* Mayer. 


urethra which we have ever met in the treatment of a 
large number of cases of this sort, was occasioned in 
this way. 

Effects upon Offspring,— That those guilty of the 
transgression should suffer, seems only just ; but that 
an innocent being who had no part in the sin, no voice 
in the time or manner of its advent into the world, — 
that such an one should suffer equally, if not more bit- 
terly, with the transgressors themselves, seems anything 
but just. But such is nature's inexorable law, that the 
iniquities of the parents shall be visited upon the chil- 
dren ; and this fact should be a most powerful influence 
to prevent parental transgression, especially in this 
direction, in which the dire consequences fall so heavily 
and so immediately upon an innocent being. 

Says Acton, " The ill effects of marital excesses are 
not confined to offending parties. No doubt can exist 
that many of the obscure cases of sickly children, born 
of apparently healthy parents, arise from this cause; 
and this is borne out by investigations among animals." 

Breeders of stock who wish to secure sound progeny, 
will not allow the most robust stallion to associate with 
mares as many times during the whole season as some 
of these salacious human males perform a similar act 
within a month. One reason why the offspring suffer is 
that the seminal fluid deteriorates very rapidly by re- 
peated indulgence. The spermatozoa do not have time 
to become mature, and progeny resulting from such im- 
mature elements will possess the same deficiency ; hence 
the hosts of deformed, scrofulous, weazen, and idiotic 
children which curse the race, and testify to the sensu- 
ality of their progenitors. Another reason is the phys- 


ical and nervous exhaustion which the parents bring 
upon themselves, and which totally unfits them to beget 
sound, healthy offspring. 

The effects of this evil may often be traced in a large 
family of children, nearly all of whom show traces of 
the excesses of their parents. It commonly happens, 
too, that such large families are on the hands of poor 
men who cannot earn enough to give them sufficient food 
and comfortable clothing, with nothing whatever to pro- 
vide for their education. The overburdened mother has 
her strength totally exhausted by the excessive demands 
upon her system incident to child-bearing, so that she is 
unable to give her children that culture and training 
which all children need. More than likely she feels 
that they were forced upon her, and hence she cannot 
have for them all that tender sympathy and affection a 
mother should feel. The little ones grow up ignorant, 
and often vicious ; for the want of home care drives 
them to the street. Thus does one evil create another. 

It is certainly a question which deserves some atten- 
tion, whether it is not a sin for parents to bring into the 
world more children than they can properly care for. If 
they can rear and educate three children properly, the 
same work would be only half done for six ; and there 
are already in the world a sufficiency of half-raised 
people. From this class of society the ranks of thieves, 
drunkards, beggars, vagabonds, and prostitutes are re- 
cruited. Why should it be considered an improper or 
immoral thing to limit the number of children according 
to the circumstances of the parents ? Ought it not to be 
considered a crime against childhood and against the 
race to do otherwise ? It is seriously maintained by a 



number of distinguished persons that man " is in duty 
bound to limit the number of his children as well as the 
sheep on his farm, the number of each to be according 
to the adequacy of his means for their support." 

Indulgence during Pregnancy.— Transgressions of 
this sort are followed by the worst results of any form 
of marital excess. The mother suffers doubly, because 
laden with the burden of supporting two lives instead of 
one. But the results upon the child are especially dis- 
astrous. During the time when it is receiving its stock 
of vitality, while its plastic form is being molded, and 
its various organs acquiring that integrity of structure is 
which makes up what is called constitutional vigor, — 
during this most critical of all periods in the life of the 
new being, its resources are exhausted and its structure 
is depraved, and thus constitutional tendencies to disease 
are produced, by the unnatural demands made upon 
the mother. 

Effect upon the Character. — Still another terrible 
consequence results from this practice so contrary 
to nature. The delicate brain, which is being molded 
with the other organs of the body, receives its cast 
largely from those mental and nervous sensations and 
actions of the mother which are the most intense. One 
of the most certain effects of sexual indulgence at this 
time is to develop abnormally the sexual instinct in the 
child. Here is the key to the origin of much of the 
sexual precocity and depravity which curse humanity. 
Sensuality is born in the souls of a large share of the 
rising generation. What wonder that prostitution flour- 
ishes in spite of Christianity and civil law ? 

It is scarcely necessary to say that all med- 


ical testimony concurs in forbidding indulgence during 
gestation. The same reasons require its interdiction 
during the nursing period. The fact that fecundation 
would be impossible during pregnancy, and that during 
this period the female, normally, has no sexual desire, 
are other powerful arguments in favor of perfect conti- 
nence at this time. 

We quote the following from a work on health by 
Dr. J. R, Black :— 

" Coition during pregnancy is one of the ways 
in which the predisposition is laid for that terrible 
disease in children, epilepsy. The natural excitement 
of the nervous system in the mother by such a cause 
cannot operate otherwise than by inflicting injury upon 
the tender germ in the womb. This germ, it must be 
remembered, derives every quality it possesses from 
the parents, as well as every particle of matter of which 
it is composed. The old notion of anything like spon- 
taneity in the development of the qualities of a new 
being, is at variance with all the latest facts and induc- 
tions concerning reproduction. And so is that of a 
creative fiat. The smallest organic cell, as well as the 
most complicated organism, in form and quality, is 
wholly dependent upon the laws of derivation. 

" These laws are competent to explain, however 
subtle the ultimate process may be, the great diversities 
of human organization and character. Impressions from 
without, the emotions, conduct, and play of the organic 
processes within, are never alike from day to day, or from 
hour to hour ; and it is from the aggregate of these in 
the parents, but especially of those in the mother imme- 
diately before and after conception, that the quality of 


the offspring is determined. Suppose, then, that there 
is every now and then an unnatural, excited, and 
exhausted state of the nervous system produced in the 
mother by excessive cohabitation, is it any wonder that 
the child's nervous system, which derives its qualities 
from those of its parents, should take its peculiar stamp 
from that of the parent in whom it lives, moves, and has 
its being ? 

" In the adult, epilepsy is frequently developed by 
excessive venery ; and the child born with such a 
predisposition will be exceedingly liable to the disease 
during its early years, when the nervous system is 
notoriously prone to deranged action from very slight 
disturbing causes. 

" The infringement of this law regulating intercourse 
during pregnancy also reacts injuriously upon the 
mental capacity of the child, tending to give it a stupid, 
annualized look, and, there is also good reason to 
believe, aids in developing the idiotic condition." 

Other Limitations. — Sexual indulgences ought not 
to occur after abortion, miscarriage, or labor at full term. 
Dr. Parvin reports the following case : — 

"A friend in the Philadelphia legal profession has 
told me of his procuring a divorce within two years, for 
a wife, on account of her husband's cruelty, and a part 
of that cruelty was the driving of the nurse out of his 
wife's room three days after her confinement, in order 
chat he might have intercourse with his wife." 

A Selfish Objection.— The married man will raise the 
plea that indulgence is to him a necessity. He has only 
to practice the principles laid down for the maintenance 
of continence to entirely remove any such necessity, 


should there be the slightest semblance of a real de- 
mand. Again, what many mistake for an indication of 
the necessity for indulgence, to relieve an accumulation 
of semen, is in fact, to state the exact truth, but a call 
of nature for a movement of the bowels. How this may 
occur, has already been explained, as being due to the 
pressure of the distended rectum upon the internal 
organs of generation situated at the base of the bladder. 
It is for this reason, chiefly, that a good share of sexual 
excesses occur in the morning. 

But, aside from all other considerations, is it not the 
most supreme selfishness for a man to consider only 
himself in his sexual relations, making his wife wholly 
subservient to his own desires ? As a learned professor 
remarks, in speaking of woman, " Who has a right to re- 
gard her as a therapeutic agent ? " 

Brutes and Savages more Considerate. — It is only 
the civilized, Christianized (?) male human being who 
complains of the restraint imposed upon him by the 
laws of nature. The untutored barbarian, even some 
of the lowest of those who wear the human form, 
together with nearly all the various classes of lower 
animals, abstain from sexual indulgence during preg- 
nancy. The natives of the Gold Coast and many other 
African tribes regard it as a shameful offense to cohabit 
during gestation. In the case of lower animals, even 
when the male desires indulgence, the female resents 
any attempt of the sort by the most vigorous resistance. 

Are not these wholesome lessons for that portion of 
the human race which professes to represent the accu- 
mulated wisdom, intelligence, and refinement of the 
world ? Those who need reproof on this point may re- 


fleet that by a continuance of the evil practice they are 
placing themselves on a plane even below the uncouth 
negro who haunts the jungles of Southern Africa. 

We quote the following from the pen of a talented 
professor in a well-known medical college : — 

" I believe we cannot too strenuously insist upon this 
point, — that sexual intercourse should never be under- 
taken with any other object than procreation, and never 
then unless the conditions are favorable to the produc- 
tion of a new being who will be likely to have cause to 
thankfully bless his parents for the gift of life. If this 
rule were generally observed, we should have no broken- 
nosed Tristram Shandys complaining of the carelessness 
of their fathers in begetting them." * 

What may be Done? — But what is the practical 
conclusion to be drawn from all the foregoing ? What 
should people do ? what may they do ? Dr. Gardner 
offers the following remarks, which partially answer the 
questions : — 

" We have shown that we can i do right ' without 
prejudice to health by the exercise of continence. Self- 
restraint, the ruling of the passions, is a virtue, and is 
within the power of all well-regulated minds. Nor is 
this necessarily perpetual or absolute. The passions 
may be restrained within proper limitations. He who 
indulges in lascivious thoughts may stimulate himself to 
frenzy ; but if his mind were under proper control, he 
would find other employment for it, and his body, obe- 
dient to its potent sway, would not become the master 
of the man." 

What are the " proper limitations," every person 

* Dr. Gerrish. 


must decide for himself in view of the facts which have 
been presented. If he find that the animal in his nature 
is too strong to allow him to comply with what seems to 
be the requirements of natural law, let him approximate 
as nearly to the right as possible. " Let every man be 
fully persuaded in his own mind," and act accordingly, 
not forgetting that this is a matter with serious moral 
bearings, and hence one in which conscience should be 
on the alert. It is of no use to reject truth because it is 
unpalatable. There can be nothing worse for a man 
than to " know the truth and do it not." 

It is but fair to say that there is a wide diversity of 
opinion among medical men on this subject. A very few 
hold that the sexual act should never be indulged except 
for the purpose of reproduction, and then only at periods 
when reproduction will be possible. Others, while 
equally opposed to the excesses, the effects of which 
have been described, limit indulgence to the number of 
months in the year. 

Read, reflect, weigh well the matter, then fix upon a 
plan of action, and if it be in accordance with the dictates 
of better judgment, do not swerve from it. 

If the suggestion made near the outset of these re- 
marks, in comparing the reproductive function in man 
and animals, — that the seasons of sexual approach 
should be governed by the inclination of the female, — 
were conscientiously followed, it would undoubtedly do 
away with at least three-fourths of the excesses which 
have been under consideration. Before rejecting the 
hint so plainly offered by nature, let every man consider 
for a moment whether he has any other than purely 
selfish arguments to produce against it. 


Early Moderation. — The time of all others when 
moderation is most imperatively demanded, yet least 
likely to be practiced, is at the beginning of matrimonial 
life. Many a woman dates the beginning of a life of 
suffering from the first night after marriage ; and the 
mental suffering from the disgusting and even horrible 
recollections of that night, the events of which were 
scarred upon her mind as well as upon her body, have 
made her wretched both mentally and bodily. 

A learned French writer, in referring to this subject, 
says, " The husband who begins with his wife by a rape, 
is a lost man. He will never be loved." 

Cases have come under our care of young wives who 
have required months of careful treatment to repair the 
damage inflicted on their wedding night. A medical 
writer has reported a case in which he was called upon 
to testify in a suit for divorce, which is an illustration 
of so gross a degree of sensuality that the perpetrator 
certainly deserved most severe punishment. The victim, 
a beautiful and accomplished young lady, to please her 
parents, was married to a man much older than herself, 
riches being the chief attraction. She at once began to 
pine, and in a very few months was a complete wreck. 
Emaciated, spiritless, haggard, she was scarcely a shadow 
of her former self. The physician who was called in, 
upon making a local examination, found those delicate 
organs in a state of most terrible laceration and inflam- 
mation. The bladder, rectum, and other adjacent organs, 
were highly inflamed, and sensitive in the highest 
degree. Upon inquiring respecting the cause, he found 
that from the initial night she had been subjected to the 
most excessive demands by her husband, " day and 


night." The tortures she had undergone had been ter- 
rific ; and her mind trembled upon the verge of insanity. 
She entered suit for divorce on the charge of cruelty, 
but was defeated, the judge ruling that the law has no 
jurisdiction in matters of that sort. 

In another somewhat similar case that came to our 
knowledge, a young wife was delivered from the lecher- 
ous assaults of her husband — for they were no better — 
by the common sense of her neighbor friends, who gath- 
ered in force, and insisted upon their discontinuance. 
It is only now and then that cases of this sort come to 
the surface. The majority of them are hidden deep 
down in the heart of the poor, heart-broken wife, and too 
often they are hidden along with the victim in an early 

Prevention of Conception, — The evil considered 
in the preceding pages is by far the greatest cause of 
those which will be dwelt upon here. Excesses are 
habitually practiced through ignorance or carelessness 
of their direct results ; and then, to prevent the legit- 
imate result of the reproductive act, innumerable devices 
are employed to render it fruitless. To even mention 
all of these would be too great a breach of propriety, 
even in this plain-spoken work ; but accurate description 
is unnecessary, since those who need this warning are 
perfectly familiar with all the foul accessories of evil 
thus employed. We cannot do better than to quote 
from the writings of several of the most eminent authors 
upon this subject. The following paragraphs are from 
the distinguished Mayer, who has been already frequently 
quoted : — 

" The numerous stratagems invented by debauch to 


r — . 

annihilate the natural consequences of coition, have all 
the same end in view." 

Conjugal Onanism. — " The soiling of the conjugal 
bed by the shameful maneuvers to which we have made 
allusion, is mentioned for the first time in Gen. 38 : 6, 
and following verses : 6 And it came to pass, when he 
[Onan] went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled 
it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his 
brother. And the thing which he did displeased the 
Lord ; wherefore he slew him.' 

" Hence the name, conjugal Onanism. 

" One cannot tell to what great extent this vice is 
practiced, except by observing its consequences, even 
among people who fear to commit the slightest sin, to 
such a degree is the public conscience perverted upon 
this point. Still, many husbands know that nature often 
succeeds in rendering nugatory the most subtle calcula- 
tions, and reconquers the rights which they have striven 
to frustrate. No matter ; they persevere, none the less, 
and by the force of habit they poison the most blissful 
moments of life, with no surety of averting the result 
that they fear. So, who knows if the infants, too often 
feeble and weazen, are not the fruit of these in them- 
selves incomplete procreations, and disturbed by preoccu- 
pations foreign to the generic act? Is it not reason- 
able to suppose that the creative power, not meeting in 
its disturbed functions the conditions necessary for the 
elaboration of a normal product, the conception might be 
from its origin imperfect, and the being which proceeded 
therefrom, one of those monsters which are described in 
treatises on teratology ? " 

"Let us see, now, what are the consequences to 
those given to this practice of conjugal Onanism. 


" We have at our disposition numerous facts which 
rigorously prove the disastrous influence of abnormal 
coitus to the woman, but we think it useless to publish 
them. All practitioners have more or less observed them, 
and it will only be necessary for them to call upon 
their memories to supply what our silence leaves. 
6 However, it is not difficult to conceive,' says Dr. 
Francis Devay, 6 the degree of perturbation that a like 
practice should exert upon the genital system of woman 
by provoking desires which are not gratified. A pro- 
found stimulation is felt through the entire apparatus ; 
the uterus, Fallopian tubes, and ovaries enter into a 
state of orgasm, a storm which is not appeased by the 
natural crisis ; a nervous superexcitation persists. 
There occurs, then, what would take place if, presenting 
food to a famished man, one should snatch it from his 
mouth after having thus violently excited his appetite. 
The sensibilities of the womb and the entire reproduc- 
tive system are teased for no purpose. It is to this 
cause, too often repeated, that we should attribute the 
multiple neuroses, those strange affections which orig- 
inate in the genital system of woman. Our conviction 
respecting them is based upon a great number of obser- 
vations. Furthermore, the normal relations existing 
between the married couple undergo unfortunate 
changes ; this affection, founded upon reciprocal esteem, 
is little by little effaced by the repetition of an act 
which pollutes the marriage bed ; from thence proceed 
certain hard feelings, certain deep impressions which, 
gradually growing, eventuate in the scandalous ruptures 
of which the community rarely know the real motive/ 

" If the good harmony of families and their reciprocal 


relations are seriously menaced by the invasion of these 
detestable practices, the health of women, as we have 
already intimated, is fearfully injured. A great number 
of neuralgias appear to us to have no other cause. 
Many women that we have interrogated on this matter 
have fortified this opinion. But that which to us has 
passed to the condition of incontestable proof, is the 
prevalence of uterine troubles, of enervation among the 
married, hysterical symptoms which are met with in the 
conjugal relation as often as among young virgins, arising 
from the vicious habits of the husbands in their conjugal 
intercourse. . . . Still more, there is a graver affection, 
which is daily increasing, and which, if nothing arrests 
its invasion, will soon have attained the proportions of a 
scourge ; we speak of the degeneration of the womb. 
We do not hesitate to place in the foremost rank, among 
the causes of this redoubtable disease, the refinements of 
civilization, and especially the artifices introduced in our 
day in the generic act. When there is no procreation, 
although the procreative faculties are excited, we see 
these pseudo-morphoses arise. Thus it is noticed that 
polypi and schirrus [cancer] of the womb are common 
among prostitutes." 

" We may, we trust, be pardoned for remarking upon 
the artifices imagined to prevent fecundation, that there 
is in them an immense danger, of incalculable limits. 
We do not fear to be contradicted or taxed with exag- 
geration in elevating them into the proportions of a true 

The following is from an eminent physician * who for 
many years devoted his whole attention to the diseases 

*Dr. Gardner. 


of women, and lectured upon the subject in a prominent 
medical college : — 

" It is undeniable that all the methods employed to 
prevent pregnancy are physically injurious. Some of 
these have been characterized with sufficient explicitness, 
and the injury resulting from incomplete coitus to both 
parties has been made evident to all who are willing to 
be convinced. It should require but a moment's consid- 
eration to convince any one of the harmfulness of the 
common use of cold ablutions and astringent infusions 
and various medicated washes. Simple, and often won- 
derfully salutary, as is cold water to a diseased limb 
festering with inflammation, yet few are rash enough to 
cover a gouty toe, rheumatic knee, or erysipelatous head 
with cold water. . . . Yet, when in the general state 
of nervous and physical excitement attendant upon 
coitus, when the organs principally engaged in this act 
are congested and turgid with blood, do you think you 
can with impunity throw a flood of cold or even luke- 
warm water far into the vitals in a continual stream ? 
Often, too, women add strong medicinal agents, intended 
to destroy by dissolution the spermatic germs, ere they 
have time to fulfill their natural destiny. These power- 
ful astringents suddenly corrugate, and close the glandu- 
lar structure of the parts, and this is followed, necessa- 
rily, by a corresponding reaction, and the final result is 
debility and exhaustion, signalized by leucorrhcea, pro- 
lapsus, and other diseases. 

"Finally, of the use of intermediate tegumentary 
coverings, made of thin rubber or gold-beater's skin, and 
so often relied upon as absolute preventives, Madame de 
Stael is reputed to have said, 6 They are cobwebs for 


protection, and bulwarks against love.' Their employ- 
ment certainly must produce a feeling of shame and dis- 
gust utterly destructive of the true delight of pure hearts 
and refined sensibilities. They are suggestive of licen- 
tiousness and the brothel, and their employment degrades 
to bestiality the true feelings of manhood and the holy 
state of matrimony. Neither do they give, except in a 
very limited degree, the protection desired. Further- 
more, they produce (as alleged by the best modern 
French writers, who are more familiar with the effect of 
their use than we are in the United States) certain 
physical lesions from their irritating presence as foreign 
bodies, and also from the chemicals employed in their 
fabrication, and other effects inseparable from their em- 
ployment, ofttimes of a really serious nature. 

" I will not further enlarge upon these instrumental- 
ities. Sufficient has been said to convince any one that 
to trifle with the grand functions of our organism, to 
attempt to deceive and thwart nature in her highly or- 
dained prerogatives, no matter how simple seem to be 
the means employed, is to incur a heavy responsibility 
and run a fearful risk. It matters little whether a rail- 
road train is thrown from the track by a frozen drop of 
rain or a huge bowlder lying in the way ; the result is 
the same, the injuries as great. Moral degradation, 
physical disability, premature exhaustion and decrep- 
itude, are the result of these physical frauds, and force 
upon our conviction the adage, which the history of 
every day confirms, , that ' honesty is the best policy.' " 

"Male Continence."— A peculiar method known as 
" male continence " is practiced by the members of the 
Oneida Community, which is thus described by Mr. 
Noyes, the founder of the society : — 


" The exact thing that our theory does propose, is to 
take that same power of moral restraint which Paul, 
Malthus, the Shakers, and all considerate men, use in 
one way or another to limit propagation, and instead of 
applying it, as they do, to the prevention of the inter- 
course of the sexes, introduce it at another stage of the 
proceedings ; viz., after the sexes have come together in 
social effusion, and before they have reached the propa- 
gative crisis, thus allowing them all, and more than all, 
the ordinary freedom of love (since the crisis always in- 
terrupts the romance), and at the same time avoiding 
tmdesired procreation and all the other evils incident to 
male incontinence." 

This abominable practice can be considered as noth- 
ing better than double masturbation. Its terrible results 
do not differ much from those of solitary vice. The fol- 
lowing remarks will show what the effects of such a 
practice are in the male : the effects upon the female are 
precisely the same as those resulting from " conjugal 
Onanism," which have been already described : — 

" The excited nervous system, if it does not receive 
that shock which we have seen attends ejaculation, suf- 
fers a longer and more severe strain, lasting often days 
and nights, and one that is repeated over again. In 
fact, the non-occurrence of emission after sexual excite- 
ment, permits, for a time, the repetition of the excite- 
ment ; but ultimately a collapse takes place from which 
it is very difficult to rally a patient. . . . These 
practices, unnatural in the highest degree, cannot be 
carried on with impunity. Nature is sure, sooner or 
later, to inflict a severe retaliation.* 

* Acton. 


Shaker Views, — The Shakers do not, as many sup- 
pose, believe wholly in celibacy. They believe in mar- 
riage and reproduction regulated by the natural law. 
They, also, would limit population, but not by interfering 
with nature ; rather, by following nature's indications to 
the very letter. They believe " that no animals should 
use their reproductive powers and organs for any other 
than the simple purpose of procreation." Recognizing 
the fact that this is the law among lower animals, they 
insist upon applying it to man. Thus they find no 
necessity for the employment of those abominable con- 
trivances so common among those who disregard the 
laws of nature. Who will not respect the purity which 
must characterize sexual relations so governed ? 

The Oneida Community.— Such a method for regu- 
lating the number of offspring is in immense contrast 
with that of the Oneida Community, which opens the 
door for the unstinted gratification of lust, separates the 
reproductive act entirely from its original purpose, and 
makes it the means of mere selfish, sensual, beastly — 
worse than brutish — gratification. 

Those who are acquainted with the history of the 
founder of this community, are obliged to look upon him 
as a scheming sensualist, who well knows the truth, but 
deliberately chooses a course of evil, and beguiles into 
his snares others as sensual as himself. The abomina- 
tions practiced among the members of the community 
which he has founded, are represented by those who have 
had an inside view of its workings as too foul to mention. 
It seems almost wonderful that Providence does not lay 
upon this gigantic brothel his hand of vengeance, as in 
ancient times he did upon Sodom, which could hardly 


have been more sunken in infamy than is this den 
of licentiousness. It is, indeed, astonishing that it 
should be tolerated in the midst of a country which 
professes to regard virtue, and respect the marriage 

We are glad to note that popular opinion is calling 
loudly for the eradication of this foul ulcer. Only a 
short time ago a convention of more than fifty ministers 
met at Syracuse, N. Y., for the express purpose of con- 
sidering ways and means for the removal of this blot 
"by legal measures or otherwise." We sincerely wish 
them success ; and it appears to us that the people in 
that vicinity would be justified should they rise en masse, 
and purge their community of an evil so heinous, in case 
no civil authority can be induced to do the work of 
expurgation. Society must either cleanse herself of 
these infectious plague spots, or she will soon become 
too rotten to hold together. We wait with much solici- 
tude to see which event will occur. 

Since the above was written, we have learned that 
the popular feeling against the founder of this enormous 
brothel rose so high that he was obliged to flee to Canada 
to escape paying the just penalty for his sins. 

Moral Bearings of the Question.— Most of the con- 
siderations presented thus far have been of a physical 
character, though occasional references to the moral 
aspect of the question have been made. In a certain 
sense — and a true one — the question is wholly a moral 
one ; for what moral right have men or women to do 
that which will injure the integrity of the physical organ- 
ism given them, and for which they are accountable to 
their Creator ? — Surely none ; for the man who destroys 



himself by degrees, is no less a murderer than he who 
cuts his throat or puts a bullet through his brain. The 
crime is the same, being the shortening of human life, 
whether the injury is done to one's self or to another. 
In this matter, there are at least three sufferers ; the 
husband, the wife, and the offspring, though in most 
cases, doubtless, the husband is the one to whom the 
sin almost exclusively belongs. 

Unconsidered Murders. — But there is a more start- 
ling phase of this moral question. It is not impossible 
to show that actual violence is done to a human life* 

It has been previously shown that in the two ele- 
ments, the ovum of the female and the spermatozoon of 
the male, are all the elements, in rudimentary form, 
which go to make up the " human form divine." Alone, 
neither of these elements can become anything more than 
it already is ; but the instant they come in contact, 
fecundation takes place, and the individual life begins. 
From that moment until maturity is reached, years 
subsequently, the whole process is only one of develop- 
ment. Nothing absolutely new is added at any subse- 
quent moment. In view of these facts, it is evident that 
at the very instant of conception the embryonic human 
being possesses all the right to life it ever can possess. 
It is just as much an individual, a distinct human being, 
possessed of soul and body, as it ever is, though in a 
very immature form. That conception may take place 
during the reproductive act, cannot be denied. If, then, 
means are employed with a view to prevent conception 
immediately after the accomplishment of the act, or 
at any subsequent time, if successful, it would be by 
destroying the delicate product of the conception which 


had already occurred, and which, as before observed, is 
as truly a distinct individual as it can ever become, — 
certainly as independent as at any time previous to birth. 

Is it immoral to take human life ? Is it a sin to 
kill a child ? Is it a crime to strangle an infant at birth ? 
Is it a murderous act to destroy a half-formed human 
being in its mother's womb ? Who will dare to answer 
no to one of these questions ? Then who can refuse 
assent to the plain truth that it is equally a murder to 
deprive of life the most recent product of the generative 

Who can number the myriads of murders that have 
been perpetrated at this early period of existence? 
Who can estimate the load of guilt that weighs upon 
some human souls ? Who knows how many brilliant 
lights have been thus early extinguished ? how many 
promising human plantlets thus ruthlessly destroyed in 
the very act of germinating ? It is to be hoped that in 
the final account the extenuating influence of ignorance 
may weigh heavily in the scale of justice against the 
damning testimony of these " unconsidered murders." 

The Charge Disputed.— It will be urged that these 
early destructions are not murders. Murder is an awful 
word. The act itself is a terrible crime. No wonder 
that its personal application should be studiously avoided ; 
the human being who would not shrink from such a 
charge would be unworthy of the name of human — a 
very brute. Nevertheless, it is necessary to look the 
plain facts squarely in the face, and shrink not from the 
decision of an enlightened conscience. We quote the 
following portions of an extract which we give in full 


elsewhere ; it is from the same distinguished authority * 
so frequently quoted : — 

" There is, in fact, no moment after conception when 
it can be said that the child has not life, and the crime 
of destroying human life is as heinous and as sure before 
the period of ' quickening ' has been attained, as after- 
ward. But you still defend your horrible deed by say- 
ing : ' Well, if there be, as you say, this mere animal 
life, equivalent at the most to simple vitality, there is 
no mind, no soul, destroyed, and therefore there is no 
crime committed.' Just so surely as one would destroy 
and root out of existence all the fowls in the world 
by destroying all the eggs in existence, so certain is it 
that you do by your act destroy the animal man in the 
egg, and the soul which animates it. . . . Murder is 
always sinful, and murder is the willful destruction of a 
human being at any period of its existence, from its 
earliest germinal embryo to its final, simple, animal 
existence in aged decrepitude and complete mental 

Difficulties. — Married people will exclaim, "What 
shall we do ? " Delicate mothers who have already more 
children on their hands than they can care for, whose 
health is insufficient to longer endure the pains and bur- 
dens of pregnancy, but whose sensual husbands continue 
to demand indulgence, will echo in despairing tones, 
while acknowledging the truth, " What shall we do ? " 
We will answer the question for the latter first. 

Mr. Mill, the distinguished English logician, in his 
work on "The Subjection of Woman," thus represents 
the erroneous view which is popularly held of the sexual 

* Gardner. 


relations of the wife to the husband : " The wife, how- 
ever brutal a tyrant she may be chained to, — though she 
may know that he hates her, though it may be his daily 
pleasure to torture her, and though she may feel it 
impossible not to loathe him, — he can claim from her, 
and enforce the lowest degradation of a human being, 
that of being made the instrument of an animal function 
contrary to her inclinations." 

Woman's Rights, — A woman does not, upon the 
performance of the marriage ceremony, surrender all her 
personal rights. The law recognizes this fact if her 
husband beats her, or in any way injures her by phys- 
ical force, or even by neglect. Why may she not claim 
protection from other maltreatment as well ? or, at least, 
why may she not refuse to lend herself to beastly lust ? 
She remains the proprietor of her own body, though 
married ; and who is so lost to all sense of justice, equity, 
and even morality, as to claim that she is under any 
moral obligation to allow her body to be abused ? 

" But such a course would lead to separation and 
divorce in numerous cases." Who will contend for the 
maintenance of a relation which has no other bond than 
lust, which views no other object than the gratification 
of the animal passions ? Were not such a bond better 
broken than preserved ? and were not such an object 
better frustrated than attained ? Judge candidly. 

We have carefully avoided any attempt to point out 
the duty of a woman under the circumstances named. 
That matter must be left for her to settle with her own 
conscience after receiving due information. Some will 
not hesitate to urge her to assert and maintain her rights 
at all hazard. Should a woman feel in conscience bound 


to do so, it would be the duty of every moral person to 
support her ; for she has an undoubted moral right, 
whether she chooses to exercise it or not. 

What to Do. — Now to the question as asked by the 
first parties, — married people who together seek for a 
solution of the difficulties arising from an abandonment 
of all protectives against fecundation. The true remedy, 
and the natural one, is doubtless to be found in the sug- 
gestion made under the heads of " Continence " and 
" Marital Excesses." By a course of life in accordance 
with the principles there indicated, all these evils and a 
thousand more would be avoided. There would be less 
sensual enjoyment, but more elevated joy. There would 
be less animal love, but more spiritual communion ; less 
grossness, more purity ; less development of the animal, 
and a more fruitful soil for the culture of virtue, holiness, 
and all the Christian graces. 

" But such a life would be impossible this side of 
heaven." A few who claim to have tried the experiment, 
think not. The Shakers claim to practice, as well as 
teach, such principles ; and with the potent aids to con- 
tinence previously specified, it might be found less diffi- 
cult in realization than in thought. 

A Compromise.— There will be many, the vast ma- 
jority, perhaps, who will not bring their minds to accept 
the truth which nature seems to teach, which would 
confine sexual acts to reproduction wholly. Others, 
acknowledging the truth, declare a the spirit willing" 
though " the flesh is weak." Such will inquire, " Is 
there not some compromise by means of which we may 
.escape the greater evils of our present mode of life ? " 
Such may find in the following facts, suggestions for a 


" better way," if not the best way, though it cannot be 
recommended as wholly free from dangers, and though 
it cannot be said of it that it is not an unnatural way : — 

" Menstruation in woman indicates an aptitude for 
impregnation, and this condition remains for a period of 
six or eight days after the entire completion of the flow. 
During this time only can most women conceive. Allow 
twelve days for the onset of the menses to pass by, 
and the probabilities of impregnation are very slight. 
This act of continence is healthful, moral, and irre- 
proachable." * 

It should be added to the above that the plan sug- 
gested is not absolutely certain to secure immunity from 
conception. The period of abstinence should certainly 
extend from the beginning of menstruation to the four- 
teenth day. To secure even reasonable safety, it is 
necessary to practice further abstinence for three or four 
days previous to the beginning of the flow. 

Many writers make another suggestion, which would 
certainly be beneficial to individual health ; viz., that 
the husband and wife should habitually occupy separate 
beds. Such a practice would undoubtedly serve to 
keep the sexual instincts in abeyance. Separate apart- 
ments, or at least the separation of the beds by a cur- 
tain, are recommended by some estimable physicians, 
who suggest that such a plan would enable both parties 
to conduct their morning ablutions with proper thor- 
oughness, and without sacrificing that natural modesty 
which operates so powerfully as a check upon the excess- 
ive indulgence of the passions. Many will think the 
suggestion a good one, and will make a practical appli- 

* Gardner. 


cation of it. Sleeping in single beds is reputed to be a 
European custom of long standing among the higher 

This subject cannot be concluded better than by the 
following quotations from an excellent and able work, 
entitled, " The Ten Laws of Health " * :— 

" The obvious design of the sexual desire is the re- 
production of the species. . . . The gratification of 
this passion, or indeed of any other, beyond its legitimate 
end, is an undoubted violation of natural law, as may be 
determined by the light of nature, and by the resulting 
moral and physical evils.' 

" Those creatures not gifted with erring reason but 
with unerring instinct, and that have not the liberty of 
choice between good and evil, cohabit only at stated 
periods, when pleasure and reproduction are alike possi- 
ble. It is so ordered among them that the means and 
the end are never separated ; and as it was the All-wise 
Being who endowed them with this instinct, without the 
responsibility resulting from the power to act otherwise, 
it follows that it is his law, and must, therefore, be the 
true copy for all beings to follow having the same func- 
tions to perform, and for the same end. The mere fact 
that men and women have the power and liberty of con- 
forming or not conforming to this copy, does not set 
them free from obedience to a right course, nor from the 
consequences of disobedience." 

" The end of sexual pleasure being to reproduce the 
species, it follows, from the considerations just advanced, 
that when the sexual function is diverted from its end 
(reproduction), or if the means be used when the end is 
impossible, harm or injury should ensue." 

* Black. 


" Perhaps the number is not small of those who 
think there is nothing wrong in an unlimited indulgence 
of the sexual propensity during married life. The 
marriage vow seems to be taken as equivalent to the 
freest license, about which there need be no restraint. 
Yet, if there be any truth in the law in reference to the 
enjoyment of the means only when the end is possible, 
the necessity of the limitation of this indulgence during 
married life is clearly as great as for that of any other 
sensual pleasure. 

"A great majority of those constituting the most 
highly civilized communities, act upon the belief that 
anything not forbidden by sacred or civil law is neither 
sinful nor wrong. They have not found cohabitation 
during pregnancy forbidden ; nor have they ever had 
their attention drawn to the injury to health and organic 
development which such a practice inflicts. Hence, an 
habitual yielding to inclination in this matter has deter- 
mined their life-long behavior. 

" The infringement of this law in the married state 
does not produce in the husband any very serious 
disorder. Debility, aches, cramps, and a tendency to 
epileptic seizures are sometimes seen as the effects of 
great excess. An evil of no small account is the steady 
growth of the sexual passion by habitual unrestraint. It 
is in this way that what is known as libidinous blood is 
nursed as well among those who are strictly virtuous, 
in the ordinary meaning of the term, as among those 
who are promiscuous in their intercourse. 

" The wife and the offspring are the chief sufferers 
by the violation of this law among the married. Why 
this is so, may in part be accounted for by the following 


consideration : Among the animal kind it is the female 
which decides when the approaches of the male are allow- 
able. When these are untimely, her instinctive prompt- 
ing leads her to resist and protect herself with ferocious 
zeal. No one at all acquainted with the remarkable 
wisdom nature invariably displays in all her operations, 
will doubt that the prohibition of all sexual intercourse 
among animals during the period of pregnancy must be 
for a wise and good purpose. And if it serves a wise 
and good purpose with them, why should an opposite 
course not serve an unwise and bad purpose with us ? 
Our bodies are very much like theirs in structure and in 
function ; and in the mode and laws that govern repro- 
duction there is absolutely no difference. The mere 
fact that we possess the power to act otherwise than 
they do during that period, does not make it right. 

" Human beings having no instinctive prompting as 
to what is right and what is wrong, cohabitation, like 
many other points of the behavior, is left for reason or 
the will to determine ; or, rather, as things now are, to 
unreason ; for reason is neither consulted nor enlight- 
ened as to what is proper and allowable in the matter. 
Nature's rule, by instinct, makes it devolve upon the 
female to determine when the approaches of the male 
are allowable. 

" But some may say that she is helpless in the 
matter. No one dare to approach her without consent 
before marriage ; and why should man not be educated 
up to the point of doing the same after marriage ? 
She is neither his slave nor his property ; nor does the 
tie of marriage bind her to carry out any unnatural 



Few but medical men are aware of the enormous 
proportions which have been assumed by these terrible 
crimes during the present century. That they are in- 
creasing with fearful rapidity, and have really reached 
such a magnitude as to seriously affect the growth of 
civilized nations, and to threaten their very existence, 
has become a patent fact to observing physicians. The 
crime itself differs little in reality from that considered 
under the heading, the " Prevention of Conception." It 
is, in fact, the same crime postponed till a later period. 

We quote the following eloquent words on this 
subject : — 

" Of all the sins, physical and moral, against man 
and God, I know of none so utterly to be condemned as 
the very common one of the destruction of the child 
while yet in the womb of the mother. So utterly re- 
pugnant is it that I can scarcely express the loathing 
with which I approach the subject ! — murder in cold 
blood, without cause, of an unknown child, one's near- 
est relative ; in fact, part of one's very being, actually 
having, not only one's own blood in its being, but that 
blood momentarily interchanging ! Good God ! Does 
it seem possible that such depravity can exist in a 
parent's breast — in a mother's heart ? 

" 'Tis for no wrong that it has committed that its 
sweet life is so cruelly taken away. Its coming is no 
disgrace ; its creation was not in sin, but — its mother 
c do n't want to be bothered by any more brats ; can 
hardly take care of what she had got; is going to 
Europe in the spring.' 


" We may forgive the poor deluded girl — seduced, 
betrayed, abandoned — who in her wild frenzy, destroys 
the mute evidence of her guilt. We have sympa- 
thy and sorrow for her. But for the married shirk who 
disregards her divinely-ordained duty, we have nothing 
but contempt, even if she be the lordly woman of 
fashion, clothed in purple and fine linen. If glittering 
gems adorn her person, within there is foulness and 
squalor." * 

Not a Modern Crime. — Although this crime has 
attained remarkable proportions in modern times, it is 
not a new one by any means, as the following paragraph 
will suffice to show : — 

"Infanticide and exposure were also the custom 
among the Romans, Medes, Canaanites, Babylonians, 
and other Eastern nations, with the exception of the 
Israelites and Egyptians. The Scandinavians killed 
their offspring from fantasy. The Norwegians, after 
having carefully swaddled their children, put some food 
into their mouths, placed them under the roots of trees 
or under the rocks to preserve them from ferocious 
beasts. Infanticide was also permitted among the 
Chinese, and we saw, during the last century, vehicles 
going round the streets of Pekin daily to collect the 
bodies of the dead infants. To-day there exist found- 
ling hospitals to receive children abandoned by their 
parents. The same custom is also observed in Japan, 
in the isles of the Southern Ocean, at Otaheite, and 
among several savage nations of North America. It is 
related of the Jaggers of Guinea, that they devour their 
own children." f 

* Gardner. f Burdach. 


The Greeks practiced infanticide systematically, their 
laws at one time requiring the destruction of crippled or 
weakly children. Among all the various nations, the 
general object of the crime seems to have been to avoid 
the trouble of rearing children, or to avoid a surplus, 
objects not far different from those had in view by per- 
sons who practice the same crimes at the present time. 

The destruction of the child after the mother has 
felt its movements, is termed infanticide ; before that 
time it is commonly known as abortion. It is a modern 
notion that the child possesses no soul or individual life 
until the period of quickening, — an error which we have 
already sufficiently exposed. The ancients, with just 
as much reason, contended that no distinct life was 
present until after birth. Hence it was that they could 
practice without scruple the crime of infanticide to 
prevent too great increase of population. " Plato and 
Aristotle were advocates of this practice, and these 
Stoics justified this monstrous practice by alleging that 
the child only acquired a soul at the moment when it 
ceased to have* uterine life and commenced to respire. 
From hence it resulted that, the child not being an- 
imated, its destruction was no murder." 

The prevalence of this crime will be indicated 
by the following observations from the most reliable 
sources : — 

"We know that in certain countries abortion is 
practiced in a manner almost public, without speaking of 
the East, where it has, so to speak, entered into the 
manners of the country. We see it in America, in 
a great city like New York, constituting a regular busi- 
ness, and not prevented, where it has enriched more 
than one midwife ." 


" England does not yield to Germany or France in 
the frequency of the crime of infanticide." * 

" Any statistics attainable are very incomplete. False 
certificates are daily given by attending physicians. Men, 
if they are only rich enough, die of ' congestion of the 
brain,' not ( delirium tremens ; ' and women, similarly 
situated, do not die from the effects of abortion, but of 
6 inflammation of the bowels,' etc." 

" Infanticide, as it is generally considered (destroying 
a child after quickening), is of very rare occurrence in 
New York ; whereas abortions (destroying the embryo 
before quickening) are of daily habit in the families of 
the best informed and most religious ; among those 
abounding in wealth, as well as among the poor and 
needy." f 

" Perhaps only medical men will credit the assertion 
that the frequency of this form of destroying human life 
exceeds all others by at least fifty per cent, and that 
not more than one in a thousand of the guilty parties 
receive any punishment by the hand of civil law. But 
there is a surer mode of punishment for the guilty 
mother in the self-executing laws of nature." J 

" From a very large verbal and written correspond- 
ence in this and other States, I am satisfied that 
we have become a nation of murderers." § 

Said a distinguished clergyman of Brooklyn in a 
sermon, " Why send missionaries to India when child- 
murder is here of daily, almost hourly, occurrence ; 
aye, when the hand that puts money into the contribu- 
tion-box to-day, yesterday or a month ago did, or to- 
morrow will, murder her own unborn offspring ? 

*Jardien. f Gardner. % Black. § Re amy. 


" The Hindoo mother, when she abandons her babe 
upon the sacred Ganges, is, contrary to her heart, 
obeying a supposed religious law, and you desire to 
convert her to your own worship of the Moloch of 
Fashion and Laziness and love of Greed. Out upon 
such hypocrisy ! " 

Writers tell us that it has even become the boast 
of many women that they " know too much to have 

Says the learned Dr. Storer, " Will the time come, 
think ye, when husbands can no longer, as they now 
frequently do, commit the crime of rape upon their 
unwilling wives, and pursuade them or compel them to 
allow a still more dreadful violence to be wreaked upon 
the children nestling within them, — children fully alive 
from the very moment of conception, that have already 
been fully detached from all organic connection with 
their parent, and only re-attached to her for the purposes 
of nutriment and growth, and to destroy whom ' is a 
crime of the same nature, both against our Maker and 
society, as to destroy an infant, a child, or a man ? ' " * 

Says another well-known author, " Ladies boast to 
each other of the impunity with which they have 
aborted, as they do of their expenditures, of their dress, 
of their success in society. There is a fashion in this, 
as in all other female customs, good and bad. The 
wretch whose account with the Almighty is heaviest 
with guilt, too often becomes a heroine." *j* 

Causes of the Crime,— Many influences may com- 
bine to cause the mother ruthlessly to destroy her help- 
less child ; as, to conceal the results of sin, to avoid the 

* "Is it I?" f "A Woman's Thoughts about Women." 


burdens of maternity, to secure ease and freedom to 
travel, etc., or even from a false idea that maternity is 
vulgar; but it is true, beyond all question, that the 
primary cause of the sin if far back of all these influ- 
ences. The most unstinted and scathing invectives are 
used in characterizing the criminality of a mother who 
takes the life of her unborn babe ; but a word is seldom 
said of the one who forced upon her the circumstances 
which gave the unfortunate one existence. Though 
doctors, ministers, and moralists have said much on this 
subject, and written more, it is reasonable to suppose 
that they will never accomplish much of anything in the 
direction of reform until they recognize the part the 
man acts in all these sad cases, and begin to demand 
reform where it is most needed, and where its achieve- 
ment will effect the most good. As was observed in 
the remarks upon the subject of " Prevention of Concep- 
tion," this evil has its origin in " marital excesses," and 
in a disregard of the natural law which makes the female 
the sole proprietor of her own body, and gives to her 
the right to refuse the approaches of the male when un- 
prepared to receive them without doing violence to the 
laws of her being. 

The Nature of the Crime.— " The married and well- 
to-do, who by means of medicines and operations pro- 
duce abortions at early periods of pregnancy, have no 
excuse except the pretense that they do not consider it 
murder until the child quickens. 

" No, not murder, you say, for i there has not been 
any life in the child.' Do not attempt to evade, even 
to man, a crime which cannot be hidden from the 
All-seeing. The poor mother has not herself felt the 


life of the child perhaps, but that is a quibble only 
of the laws of man, founded indeed upon the view, 
now universally recognized as incorrect, that the child's 
life began when its movements were first strong enough 
to be perceptible. There is, in fact, no moment after 
conception when it can be said that the child has not 
life, and the crime of destroying human life is as heinous 
and as sure before the period of ' quickening ' has been 
attained as afterward. But you still defend your hor- 
rible deed by saying, ' Well, if there be, as you say, this 
mere animal life, equivalent at the most to simple vital- 
ity, there is no mind, no soul destroyed, and therefore, 
there is no crime committed.' Just so surely as one 
would destroy and root out of existence all the fowls in 
the world by destroying all the eggs in existence, so 
certain it is that you do by your act destroy the animal 
man in the egg, and the soul which animates it. When 
is the period that intelligence comes to the infant ? Are 
its first feeble strugglings any evidence of its presence ? 
Has it any appreciable quantity at birth ? Has it any 
valuable, useful quantity even when a year old ? When, 
then, is it that destruction is harmless or comparatively 
sinless ? While awaiting your metaphysical answer, I will 
tell you when it is sinful. Murder is always sinful, and 
murder is the willful destruction of a human being at any 
period of its existence, from its earliest germinal embryo 
to its final, simple, animal existence in aged decrepitude 
and complete mental imbecility." * 

" There are those who would fain make light of this 
crime by attempting to convince themselves and others 
that a child, while in embryo, has only a sort of vegeta- 

* Gardner. 33 


tive life, not yet endowed with thought, and the abil- 
ity to maintain an independent existence. If such a 
monstrous philosophy as this presents any justification 
for such an act, then the killing of a newly born infant 
or of an idiot may be likewise justified. The destruc- 
tion of the life of an unborn human being, for the reason 
that it is small, feeble, and innocently helpless, rather 
aggravates than palliates the crime. Every act of this 
kind, with its justification, is obviously akin to that 
savage philosophy which accounts it a matter of no 
moment, or rather a duty, to destroy feeble infants, 
or old, helpless fathers and mothers." * 

Instruments of Crime. — " The means through which 
abortions are effected are various. Sometimes it is 
through potent drugs, extensively advertised in news- 
papers claiming to be moral ! — the advertisements so 
adroitly worded as to convey under a caution the precise 
information required of the liability of the drug to 
produce miscarriages. Sometimes the information is 
conveyed through secret circulars ; but more commonly 
the deed is consummated by professed abortionists, who 
advertise themselves as such through innuendo, or 
through gaining this kind of repute by the frequent 
commission of the act. Not a few women, deterred by 
lingering modesty or some sense of shame, attempt and 
execute it upon themselves, and then volunteer to 
instruct and encourage others to go and do likewise." * 

Results of this Unnatural Crime.— It is the univer- 
sal testimony of physicians that the effects of abortion 
are almost as deadly upon the mother as upon the child. 
The amount of suffering is vastly greater ; for that of 

* Black. 


the child, if it suffer at all, is only momentary, in general, 
while the mother is doomed to a life of suffering, of 
misery, if she survives the shock of the terrible outrage 
against her nature. It has been proved by statistics 
that the danger of immediate death is fifteen times as 
great as in natural childbirth. A medical author Of note 
asserts that a woman suffers more injury from one abor- 
tion than she would from twenty normal births. Says 
an eminent physician on this point : — 

" We know that the popular idea is that women are 
worn out by the toil and wear connected with the raising 
of large families, and we can willingly concede something 
to this statement ; but it is certainly far more observable 
that the efforts at the present day, made to avoid prop- 
agation, are ten thousand-fold more disastrous to the 
health and constitution, to say nothing of the demoral- 
ization of mind and heart, which cannot be estimated by 
red cheeks or physical vigor." 

But suppose the mother does not succeed in her at- 
tempts against the life of her child, as she may not; 
what fearful results may follow ! Who can doubt that 
the murderous intent of the mother will be stamped in- 
delibly upon the character of the unwelcome child, giving 
it a natural propensity for the commission of murderous 
deeds ? 

Then again, — sickening thought, — suppose the at- 
tempts to destroy the child are unsuccessful, resulting 
only in horrid mutilation of its tender form ; when such 
a child is born, what terrible evidences may it bear in 
its crippled and misshapen body of the cruel outrage 
perpetrated upon it ! That such cases do occur is cer- 
tain from the following narrative : — 


" A lady, determined not to have any more children, 
went to a professed abortionist, and he attempted to 
effect the desired end by violence. With a pointed in- 
strument the attempt was again and again made, but 
without the looked -for result. So vigorously was the 
effort made, that, astonished at no result's being obtained, 
the individual stated that there must be some mistake, 
that the lady could not be pregnant, and refused to per- 
form any further operations. Partially from doubt and 
partially from fear, nothing further was attempted ; and 
in due process of time the woman was delivered of an 
infant, shockingly mutilated, with one eye entirely put 
out, and the brain so injured that this otherwise robust 
child was entirely wanting in ordinary sense. This poor 
mother, it would seem, needs no future punishment for 
her sin. Ten years face to face with this poor idiot, 
whose imbecility was her direct work — has it not pun- 
ished her sufficiently ? " 

An Unwelcome Child. — A number of years ago, a 
woman called on the writer, stating that she had become 
pregnant much against her wishes, and earnestly desired 
that an abortion should be produced. The following 
conversation ensued : — 

" Why do you desire the destruction of your unborn 
infant ? " 

" Because I already have three children, which are 
as many as I can properly care for ; besides, my health 
is poor, and I do not feel that I can do justice to what 
children I now have." 

" Your chief reason, then, is that you do not wish 
more children ? " 



" On this account you are willing to take the life of 
this unborn babe ? " 

" I must get rid of it." 

" I understand that you have already borne three 
children, and that you do not think you are able to care 
for more. Four children are, you think, one too many, 
and so you are willing to destroy one. Why not destroy 
one of those already born ? " 

" Oh, that would be murder ! " 

" It certainly would, but no more murder than it 
would be to kill this unborn infant. Indeed, the little 
one you are carrying in your womb, has greater claims 
upon you than the little ones at home, by virtue of its 
entire dependence and helplessness. It is just as much 
your child as those w T hose faces are familiar to you, and 
whom you love. Why should you be more willing to 
take its life than that of one of your other children? 
Indeed, there are several reasons why, if one must die 
because there are too many, one of those already born 
should be sacrificed instead of the one unborn. Your 
other children you are acquainted with. Some of 
them have serious faults. None of them have very 
marked mental ability, or give very great promise of 
becoming specially useful in the world. This one that 
is unborn, may, for aught you know, be destined to a 
career of wonderful usefulness. It may be a genius, 
endowed with most remarkable gifts. It may be a dis- 
coverer of some new truth or new principle, which will 
be of great service to the world. It may be of all your 
children the most talented and the most lovable, and in 
every way the most desirable. Again, you cannot 
destroy the life of this innocent child whom you have 


never seen, without endangering your own life as well, 
and certainly not without incurring the risk of life-long 
suffering and disease. This could all be avoided by the 
sacrifice of a child already born." 

" But that would be too horrible ! To think of tak- 
ing one of my little boys and cutting his throat, or 
throwing him into the river ! I could not do such a 
wicked thing." 

" The act would be in no sense more wicked than 
what you have come here to request me to do for you. 
Certainly, you do not think that I advise you to take 
the life of one of your little children. I only wish to 
present the matter to you in such a light that you will 
see the enormity of the crime which in your heart you 
have proposed to commit. My most earnest advice to 
you is that you put such thoughts far from your mind, and 
endeavor to make the best of your present circumstances. 
Employ all such means as will build up your health, and 
fortify yourself for the ordeal through which you must 
pass, and which will conduce in every way to the de- 
velopment of a vigorous and healthy child." 

The woman left our office defeated, but not wholly 
restored to moral sanity. She continued to bemoan 
her condition, and allowed her heart to be filled with 
enmity against the innocent being that was in no way 
responsible for her afflictions. So far as I know, 
however, no active measures were taken to produce 
abortion. The mother dragged out a miserable existence 
for several months, and finally gave birth to a puny 
infant, which barely survived the perils of parturition, 
and came into the world the most wretched of all human 
beings, " an unwelcome child." In a few weeks it 


became emaciated to an extent almost beyond belief, 
with not one particle of fatty tissue remaining to give to 
its body the plumpness and roundness natural to this 
period of life. The eyes were sunken back in their 
sockets, the cheeks fallen in, the nose pinched, and the 
whole countenance presented the appearance of infirm 
old age, just upon the verge of the grave, from con- 
sumption. The fingers resembled most those of a 
skeleton. Horrible sores began to make their appear- 
ance, first on the hands, then about the head and 
eyes. The bones began to decay and drop out one by 
one, and yet the poor little creature clung to life week 
after week, becoming more wretched and miserable, 
a constant moaning and crying day and night indicating 
the intense suffering which it endured. Horrible 
spasms now and then deprived it of the power to 
breathe. Again and again the mother thought it was 
dying, and even dead, but still it survived month after 
month, lingering on literally a living, breathing putre- 
fying corpse. During all these days and weeks and 
months of weary watching, day and night, what must 
have been the mother's thoughts ! What pangs of 
bitter self-reproach, and what remorse of conscience must 
have burned in her heart, as during the long night 
watches she sat beside her dying babe, and listened to 
its piteous moans ! 

And still the wretched infant lingers on. Its little 
flickering flame of life still faintly burns, and still the 
mother tends it day and night, dressing its festering sores, 
and soothing its feeble cry. Vain is her effort to undo 
the wrong she has done her little one ; but let us hope 
that by genuine repentance and the many months of 


faithful and patient watching, she has made a full atone- 
ment for her sin. 

The Remedy. — Whether this gigantic evil can ever 
be eradicated, is exceedingly doubtful. To effect its 
cure would be to make refined Christians out of brutal 
sensualists, to emancipate woman from the enticing, al- 
luring slavery of fashion, to uproot false ideas of life and 
its duties, — in short to revolutionize society. The 
crime is perpetrated in secret. Many times no one but 
the criminal herself is cognizant of the evil deed. Only 
occasionally do cases come near enough to the surface 
to be dimly discernable ; hence the evident inefficiency 
of any civil legislation. But the evil is a desperate one, 
and is increasing ; shall no attempt be made to check the 
tide of crime, and save the perpetrators from both phys- 
ical and spiritual perdition ? An effort should be made, 
at least. Let every Christian raise the note of warning. 
From every Christian pulpit let the truth be spoken in 
terms too plain for misapprehension. Let those who 
are known to be guilty of this most revolting crime, be 
looked upon as murderers, as they are ; and let their real 
moral status be distinctly shown. 

All these means will do something to effect a 
reform ; but the radical cure of the evil will only be 
found in the principles suggested in the section devoted 
to the consideration of " Marital Excesses." The 
adoption of those principles and strict adherence to 
them would effectually prevent the occurrence of circum- 
stances which are the occasion of abortions and in- 

Murder by Proxy. — " There is, at the present time, 
a kind of infanticide, which, although it is not so well 



known, is even more dangerous, because done with im- 
punity. There are parents who recoil with horror at 
the idea of destroying their offspring, although they 
would greatly desire to be disembarrassed of them, who 
yet place them without remorse with nurses who enjoy 
the sinister reputation of never returning the children to 
those who intrusted them to their care. These unfortu- 
nate little beings are condemned to perish from inanition 
and bad treatment. 

" The number of these innocent victims is greater 
than would be imagined, and very certainly exceeds 
that of the marked infanticides sent by the public pros- 
ecutor to the court of the assizes." 


Diseases Peculiar to Women, 

great prevalence of diseases peculiar to the sex 
among American women, is a matter of remark 
by medical authors. The women of European 
countries are far less subject to these maladies than are 
American women, but yet they are more or less preva- 
lent among all civilized people. Among the principal 
causes to which this state of things is attributable, 
the following may be enumerated : — 

1. Carelessness at Menstruation. — Neglect to care 
properly for themselves at the menstrual period, either 
through carelessness or ignorance of the consequences, 
is probably one of the most common causes of uterine or 
ovarian disorders. Neglects of this kind are most likely 
to occur, and are most harmful, during the first two or 
three years after the beginning of the menstrual period. 

2. Sexual sins, in the form of self-abuse in the un- 
married and excesses in the married, and prolonged ex- 
citement from erotic thoughts in both classes, are unmis- 
takably a frequent cause of ovarian and uterine diseases. 

3. Neglect of the Boivels. — Constipation is a prevalent 
disorder among women. It is sometimes the result of 
improper diet and sedentary habits, but is quite as fre- 
quently the effect of neglecting to evacuate the bowels 
at a regular hour each day, which is essential to proper 



and regular action. Constipation gives rise to congestion 
of the pelvic organs ; and the violent efforts necessary 
to expel the hardened contents of the bowels, force the 
womb and ovaries out of position, straining the ligaments 
and other structures by which they are held in position, 
and causing intense congestion by the prolonged straining 

4. .Excessive Use of Drugs. — This must also be 
set down as a frequent cause of disease in women, though 
not always of local disorders. After-dinner pills, liver 
regulators, laxatives, etc., frequently operate in an inju- 
rious manner upon the pelvic viscera. 

5. Errors in Dress. — Tight-lacing, the wearing of 
heavy skirts about the waist, neglect to properly clothe 
the limbs, the wearing of high-heeled shoes, — these and 
other errors in dress common among American women, 
are responsible for a large share of the weak backs and 
other evidences of local disease of which women com- 

The importance of woman's dress has excited so 
much interest of late that it might not be out of place to 
give to its consideration at this point, a larger amount of 
space than under ordinary circumstances would be ad- 
missible. Not long since, a writer in the North American 
Review took up the cudgel in defense of what are consid- 
ered by the majority of intelligent physicians as the 
most objectional features of fashionable dress. As the 
profession and reputation of the writer referred to are 
such that much harm may be done by the sophistical 
arguments which he presents upon the subject, it may 
be profitable to devote a little time to their consideration, 
though their real weight is so slight that if they had 


been produced by an obscure individual, they would 
certainly not be worthy a moment's consideration. This 
champion of fashion writes as follows :— 

" Without going into the consideration of the dress 
of women in various parts of the world, it will be suffi- 
cient if I confine what I have to say on the subject to 
their apparel as worn at the present day. But it is an 
important fact that in the earlier periods of the history 
of the human race, there were no essential points of dif- 
ference in the dress of the two sexes, except, perhaps, 
in the way of wearing the hair. Roman men and 
women, for instance, wore pretty nearly the same kind 
of external garments. A plate in Planche's ' History 
of Costume ' represents a group of Anglo-Saxon men 
and women of the tenth century, and it is difficult, if 
not impossible, to tell which of the figures represent men 
and which women. The traditional fig-leaf was the 
same for both sexes, and from it were evolved skirts 
that varied but little in shape and general appearance, 
whether they concealed the nakedness of a man or that 
of a woman. The differences that now exist have 
mainly been caused by the revolt of man from the in- 
convenience of long skirts, and the assumption by him 
of a separate covering for each leg. What he has gained 
in the facility with which he can run, leap, climb trees, 
straddle a horse, row a boat, and do the many other 
things that his occupations require of him, he has cer- 
tainly lost in grace and elegance. Trousers are of 
oriental origin, and in the form of breeches were worn 
by the ancient Gauls and Britons. They went out of 
fashion, however, soon after the occupation by the 
Romans, and the gown took their place, or rather re- 
acquired its place, for both sexes. 


" So far as I know, the wearing of trousers by 
women is a mere matter of convenience and aesthetics 
that they are perfectly competent to settle for them- 
selves, and that they certainly will decide without in- 
terference from the other sex. It is not a question into 
which sanitation enters. There are no statistics to 
show that the partial exposure of the lower extremities 
to the atmosphere, which more or less attends upon the 
absence of trousers, leads to greater ill-health or mortal- 
ity than when they are more securely covered with 
trousers. Rheumatism, sciatica, hip-joint disease, white- 
swelling, neuralgia, etc., are more common in men than 
they are in women. It is true that women sometimes 
wear drawers in winter, but they are in general a poor 
protection in themselves compared with the close-fitting 
woolen drawers of men, and the superimposed trousers 
of even more compact material. As a matter of fact, 
however, women endure cold weather as well as do men, 
not because they are more warmly clad, but because, 
owing to the flowing character of their garments, and the 
fact that they are not in close contact with the lower 
part of the body, a stratum of air exists between them 
and the skin, and this, being a good non-conductor of 
heat, prevents the rapid cooling of the surface that 
would otherwise take place. It acts just as does the 
two or three inches thickness of air when double windows 
are put into a house." 

A Muddled Professor,— What a pity that the dis- 
covery that loose skirts are warmer for the legs than 
closely fitting garments, should have been made at so 
late a day as this ! What an amount of earnest talk has 
been wasted ! How the advocates of dress reform have 


waxed warm in condemning the prevailing style in 
women's dress, on the ground that the circulation is dis- 
turbed by the exposure of the limbs to chilling by the 
loose skirts, which Dr. Hammond has discovered are 
much warmer than drawers or pantaloons ! As most of 
the agitators of the dress reform question have been 
women, Dr. Hammond's discovery certainly suggests a 
sad want of acumen on the part of the fair sex, that 
they should have failed to make the discovery themselves, 
though having had an opportunity for practical exper- 
imentation which it is hardly supposable that Dr. H. 
has had. It certainly requires the highest kind of 
genius to be able to rise above the necessity for the ob- 
servation of facts to which vulgar minds are subjected, 
and this remarkable discovery of the eminent Professor 
affords another illustration of what may be accomplished 
by a skillful use of the " scientific imagination." The 
Professor's reasoning makes it very clear that poor 
masculine humanity has been for some centuries back 
abused in a gross and cruel manner, and that science 
demands that the doctors should preach a crusade against 
pantaloons, and insist that men shall meekly submit to a 
reinstatement of the reign of the petticoat. Now that 
we are fully awakened to the exposures and dangers in- 
volved in the wearing of pantaloons, it is a matter of 
amazement that the unhappy male biped who has been 
subjected to such a barbarous costume, has not been 
quite exterminated by this dreadful abuse of his nether 

Personally, we have never had any experience in 
petticoats; but when we have seen a woman battling 
her way along the street against a December wind, with 


her dress skirts whipping about like sails, and the frosty 
air making small cyclones around her limbs protected 
only by cotton stockings and thin drawers, our unscien- 
tific imagination has somehow become impressed with 
the idea that the biped in pantaloons on the other side 
of the street has a great advantage in point of warmth 
as well as convenience, notwithstanding the lack of 
"aesthetic" qualities in his dress. It might appear to 
some persons of meager intellectual endowments, and 
not gifted with " scientific imaginations," that women 
endure the cold season of the year as well as men, not 
because their skirts afford them better protection, but 
because they are less exposed to the inclemencies of the 
season, their occupations being indoors. 

" But as the occupations of women are gradually 
becoming identical with those of men, it appears to be 
desirable, on the score of convenience, that they should 
wear trousers, even at the sacrifice of warmth and 
beauty. A woman commanding a steamboat would 
certainly be more efficient in trousers than in long skirts. 
A saleswoman in a shop would do her work with more 
comfort to herself, and more to the satisfaction of her 
employer, if she were disencumbered of the gown and 
petticoats that prevent her from climbing step-ladders to 
get down goods, or jumping over the counter, like her 
male rival. Even as a physician, or as a nurse in a 
hospital, she would more effectually perform her work 
if she wore trousers, and thus had more freedom in the 
motions of her lower limbs. A woman surgeon, for in- 
stance, called upon to reduce a dislocation of the shoulder- 
joint, would find skirts very greatly incommodious when 
she came to put her heel into the axilla of the patient 


in order to obtain the necessary fixed point to counteract 
the effects of her traction. Besides, the flowing drapery 
worn by the woman physician and nurse is more apt to 
absorb contagion than the closely fitting trousers of 
man, and hence renders them carriers of disease from 
house to house, or from person to person. 

" If I had the determination of the question, I should 
prescribe trousers for all women that do manual labor, 
except such as is of a purely ornamental character, — 
embroidery, crocheting, etc., — and such as is strictly 
confined to the use of the hands, without the legs' being 
necessarily brought into use, — sewing, knitting, writing, 
painting, etc. The sewing-machine should never be 
worked by a woman in skirts. The gown and petticoats 
I would reserve exclusively for women embraced in the 
above-named exceptions, and for those whose office in 
society is to be ornamental and useful in the various 
social relations of life. Certainly a great deal of the 
aesthetics of a drawing-room, a ball-room, or a dinner- 
table would be lost if the women who attend them wore 
trousers instead of the silk, satin, and velvet gowns that 
now add so much to their loveliness. I can quite con- 
ceive that a man thoroughly imbued with the prejudices 
received from a biased education, indisposed to accept 
new ideas, and deeply endowed with a love for the 
beautiful, might be reluctant to pay his addresses with a 
view to matrimony to a woman wearing trousers. Still, 
under the influence of familiarity with the idea of a 
change in the nether garments of the sex, and especially 
should they be generally adopted by pretty women, it 
might reasonably be expected that a change of opinion 
and emotion would ensue, and that perhaps in time he 


might even be brought to regard trousers as filling more 
completely his idea of the beautiful than do skirts at the 
present day." 

Our author is afraid that the ball-room and the 
dinner-table will lose some of their " aesthetics " if 
women should put on trousers ; but he at once admits 
that the " aesthetics " of the dress question is wholly a 
matter of habit, and may be completely reversed if suffi- 
cient time is allowed. 

" There is another point that requires consideration, 
and that is the practice of wearing the gown cut low in 
the neck, so as to expose the breast, and without cover- 
ing for the arms. It is doubtful if this leads to any ill 
consequences. It has been continued for many genera- 
tions without apparent injury. It might be supposed, 
at first thought, that bronchitis, pleurisy, pneumonia, and 
many kinds of rheumatism and neuralgia would be the 
result of the custom ; but such is really not the case, all 
these affections being much more frequently met with 
in men who cover the chest and arms with several 
thicknesses of woolen material in addition to a shirt of 
linen or cotton." 

Our learned author evidently delights in paradoxies. 
He gravely says, " There is another point that requires 
consideration," referring to the practice of exposing the 
arms and chest, formerly more fashionable than at the 
present time. One certainly would expect to hear at 
least some word of condemnation of this fashion, the un- 
healthfulness of which has been too frequently demon- 
strated by those addicted to it, to require the dictum of 
a learned doctor either for or against it. Indeed, the 
Professor himself seems to recognize the apparent weak- 



ness of his defense of this most absurd of fashionable 
follies, since he remarks, " It might be supposed at first 
thought," etc., but gives no substantial reason why it 
might not also be supposed at second thought, especially 
since the same statistics which show man to be the 
greatest sufferer from bronchitis, pneumonia, etc., as the 
result of his greater exposure to the weather, show that 
consumption, a disease which kills vastly more than all 
the maladies named, finds by far the greatest percent- 
age of its victims among women. It is certainly a mar- 
velous exhibition of legerdemain in logic by which the 
Professor at one moment advocates the wearing of skirts 
and petticoats on the score of warmth for the limbs, and 
the next insists that for the other extremity of the body, 
which is certainly much more closely related to the or- 
gans of greatest importance in the vital economy, no 
clothing whatever is needed. 

" It has been strenuously urged by many so-called 
sanitary reformers, that women should support their 
skirts by straps passing over the shoulders, and some 
few have been induced to adopt the method. It is to be 
hoped that it will not spread. A woman's hips are pro- 
portionally wider than those of a man, and there is no 
better way of keeping up the many petticoats that it is 
sometimes necessary to wear, than by fastening them 
with strings or bands around the waist, over the corset. 
Shoulder-straps hinder the movements of the chest, and 
tend to make those who wear them round-shouldered. 
Besides, they could not well be worn with a low-necked 
dress. Even if trousers should come into general use 
for women, it would be better that they should be kept 
up by the support of the hips than by suspenders pass- 


ing over the shoulders. It is true that many men wear 
suspenders, and this fact may perhaps lead to their 
adoption by some women ; but again no inconsiderable 
number of the male sex support their trousers from the 
hips. If comparatively narrow-hipped man can do this, 
wide-hipped woman ought to be able to do it better." 

This paragraph certainly reads like the ingenious ad- 
vertisement of a fashionable modiste, prepared after the 
style of the latest pattern of quack medicine advertise- 
ments. The Doctor speaks as one in authority when he 
says, " There is no better way," etc. Did he ever try 
the experiment ? We know of some hundreds of intelli- 
gent women who have tried the experiment of changing 
the weight of the clothing from the waist to the shoul- 
ders, and we do not know of a single instance in which 
the experimenter has been willing to return to the old 
style of dressing after shoulder straps had been adopted. 
Suppose the Doctor should try the experiment himself 
once. Let him supply himself with a fashionable corset, 
now button his pantaloons tightly around his waist, and 
fill his pockets with buck shot or twenty-dollar gold 
pieces, and start off for a ten-mile tramp. If he don't 
complain of a dragging pain in the lower bowels and an 
insupportable backache before he gets around home, it 
will be because he hails the first cab, and takes the 
journey on wheels. 

" Shoulder straps hinder the movements of the 
chest, and tend to make the wearer round-shouldered." 
Undoubtedly this is true if "many petticoats" are sus- 
pended from them ; but what intelligent woman who has 
undertaken to reform her dress does not know that 
"many petticoats" are never, instead of "sometimes, 


necessary." But here is the real argument : " Besides, 
they could not well be worn with a low-necked dress." 
Certainly not. A strip of red, white, or striped webbing 
striking straight down across a broad, bare space of pink 
and white immodesty, would destroy a " great deal of 

But did it ever occur to our learned authority that 
corsets may " hinder the movements of the chest, and 
tend to make those who wear them " narrow-waisted ? 
It is true, women have wider hips than men, but this 
anatomical peculiarity is given to women for quite an- 
other purpose than to hang either trousers or petticoats 
on. The Italian farmer works the cow as well as the ox 
before the cart or plow. What would even Dr. Hammond 
say if he should find one of these old-fashioned agricul- 
turists adjusting a yoke around the middle of his female 
bovine, because her hips happened to be a little wider 
than those of her broad-shouldered brother ? 

" A good deal more might be said in regard to nats, 
shoes, and stockings. But as I remarked in the begin- 
ning, women will settle all the questions of dress for 
themselves. There is no evidence to show that in this 
respect men have ever interfered with them ; and if 
they should presume to make the attempt, it is not at 
all likely that their advice would be heeded." 

We are able at last to find one sentiment with which 
we can quite agree. Women are settling this question 
of dress for themselves, and are perfectly competent to 
do so, and it is certainly to be hoped that they will not 
allow fashion-blinded men, even though they may be 
backed by the prestige of a world-wide reputation in 
some specialty, to interfere with their attempts to rescue 


their sisters from the most thralling slavery of modern 
times, — fashionable dress. 

Diseases of Women. — The disorders described in 
this section are some of the most common to which 
women are subject, and are all sufficiently serious to de- 
mand special attention when recognized. We have not 
space here to give accurate directions for the required 
treatment, but think it proper to describe the several 
maladies named, so as to render the reader intelligent 
respecting their nature, and thus induce her to take 
prompt steps to procure proper treatment when they are 
recognized. In other works published by the author, 
simple measures of treatment, such as can be used safely 
and successfully at home, are carefully and fully de- 

General Suggestions,— We may add, however, the 
following general suggestions respecting the treatment 
of those disorders, which are applicable to nearly all 
forms of diseases peculiar to women : — 

Nearly all forms of uterine disease are accompanied 
by more or less congestion of the womb and ovaries. 
There is pain in the region of the ovaries, across the 
lower part of the bowels, in the back, or in other parts 
adjacent to the sexual organs. Leucorrhoea is also 
present in a great majority of cases. For the relief of 
these various symptoms, there is no one measure so 
generally applicable and capable of accomplishing so 
much as the hot vaginal douche. This consists of the 
injection of hot water into the vagina. The water should 
be as hot as can be borne without discomfort, and should 
be taken in considerable quantities. Not less than one 
gallon, and generally two or three gallons, should be 


employed at each application. The best means of 
administering the douche is by a siphon syringe. The 
treatment should be taken in a horizontal position. 

When the leucorrhceal discharge is very abundant, 
and is not relieved by the persistent use of hot water, 
alum or tannin may be added to the last portion of 
water used, one or two drams to the quart. 

Women suffering from uterine diseases should usually 
rest at the menstrual period. It is not always necessary 
that the patient should remain in bed, though this is 
sometimes required ; but a large share of the ordinary 
duties should be suspended for a day or two preceding 
the period, until a day or two after. By this means the 
aggravation of troubles which usually occur at each 
menstrual period, may after a time be decreased, until 
nature has time to restore the morbid conditions to- 
proper action. 

Leucorrhcea, or Whites, — This most common of all 
maladies peculiar to the sex, is not always an independent 
function, but sometimes a symptom of other disease. It 
is always indicative of some disease, and should receive 
prompt attention. A slight whitish discharge may take 
place just before or just after the menstrual period, 
which is entirely natural ; but when it continues during 
the interval between the periods, it is evidence of 
disease, either of the vaginal mucous membrane or of the 
womb, or both. Viscid mucous discharges are generally 
from the womb. Curdy discharges are occasioned by 
catarrh of the vagina. Offensive watery discharges 
indicate tumors of the womb, which are sometimes ma- 
lignant. Bloody discharges are the result of tumors of 
various kinds, and cancers and lacerations of the womb. 


A very offensive discharge is usually indicative of 

Vaginitis. — This is an inflammation of the vagina 
which corresponds to gonorrhoea in the male. There is 
much swelling, heat, and tenderness, and smarting or 
burning sensation, accompanied by more or less discharge, 
usually of a greenish character. The principal causes 
aro discharge from the womb, use of caustics, the wear- 
ing of uterine supporters, self-abuse, and other sexual 

Vaginismus. — This condition is one in which great 
irritability exists about the mouth of the vagina, causing 
violent contraction, accompanied by cutting pain. It is 
often the cause of much suffering as well as inconven- 
ience. The principal causes are inflammation of the 
vagina, rawness of the mucous membrane, vascular 
growths of the urethra, fissure of the anus, hysteria, 
itching of the genitals. This complaint often occasions 
great distress, and is characterized by intense itching, 
burning, or tingling of the external organs of generation. 
The itching sometimes extends into the vagina to some 
extent. The most common cause of the disease is an 
ichorous discharge from the womb or the vagina, which 
frequently occurs in old age. This disorder is sometimes 
present in cases of diabetes. The effect is occasionally 
wholly nervous in character. 

Uterine Catarrh.— This is a catarrhal inflammation 
of the mucous membrane lining the uterus. The most 
common causes are taking cold at the menstrual period, 
and self-abuse or sexual excesses. Women who do not 
nurse their children after childbirth, are very apt to 
suffer with this disease. The general symptoms are a 


watery discharge, often appearing in adhesive, stringy 
masses; scanty, suppressed, painful, or profuse men- 
struation ; headache, particularly at the top of the head ; 
weakness in the back and across the lower part of the 
bowels ; slow digestion ; inactive bowels ; neurasthenia ; 
hysteria; general debility. 

Inflammation of the Womb, — The symptoms are 
pain in the lower part of the back, and just above the 
pubic bone, tenderness on pressure at the last-named 
point, weight or dragging feeling in the bowels, desire 
to relieve the bladder too frequently, leucorrhoea, head- 
ache, general nervous debility. The most common 
causes are sexual excesses, employment of means to 
prevent conception, improper dress, abortions and mis- 
carriages, getting up too soon after confinement, injuries 
in the neck of the womb, or perineum, occurring at 
childbirth. To these must also be added the wearing of 
uterine supporters, which frequently, by not fitting 
properly, produce serious inflammation of the womb. 

Ulceration of the Womb. — The condition usually 
known as ulceration of the womb, is not what is com- 
monly termed ulceration elsewhere, but would be more 
properly termed abrasion, or erosion. The neck of the 
womb, when seen through a speculum, is usually red, 
enlarged, and raw. This condition generally exists in 
connection with congestion or chronic inflammation of 
the womb. One of its most frequent causes is laceration 
of the neck of the womb at childbirth. These cases are 
frequently treated for years without other than temporary 
relief, through failure of the medical attendant to recog- 
nize the fact that a tear has occurred. In these cases 
the repair of the injury after proper preparatory treat- 


merit, effects a speedy and a permanent cure, as the 
writer has witnessed in scores of cases. 

Amenorrhea, or Suppressed Menstruation. — This 
term is applied to a condition in which the menstrual 
flow is absent. There are two varieties of the disease, 
one in which the flow has never made its appearance, 
though the proper time has arrived, and the other in 
which the flow has been suppressed after having been 
once established. There are numerous causes of this 
disorder. It is usually the result of impaired nutrition. 
Every case of amenorrhoea is not pathological, however. 
Sometimes, as in fevers and other wasting diseases, the 
function is suspended as a means of economizing the 
vital forces of the body. In these cases, no attempt 
should be made to restore the function by drugs or 
other means. Great harm is often done by the use of 
amenagogues. A temporary suppression of the men- 
strual flow sometimes results from the disuse of flesh 
food on the part of persons who have been accustomed 
to using it freely ; but we never have seen any harm 
arise from the suppression of the menstrual flow in these 
cases. Persons suffering with amenorrhoea sometimes 
have a vicarious hemorrhage when the menstrual flow 
first makes its reappearance. The hemorrhage may oc- 
cur from the nose, stomach, or bowels, and has often 
been known to occur through the skin in the form of 
bloody sweat. 

Scanty Menstruation.— The principal causes of 
scanty or deficient menstruation are inflammation of the 
ovaries ; ovarian tumors, consumption, or other wasting 
diseases ; anteflexion of the womb ; mental depression, 
or general debility. 


Menorrhagia. — This condition is that in which there 
is a too profuse discharge of blood. The system is 
weakened by the loss, and so much so, in many cases, 
that the individual does not recover her accustomed 
strength before the occurrence of the next period, when 
she becomes weakened still more. By a continuance of 
this periodical loss, the person may be reduced to a state 
of almost utter helplessness. A deathly pallor of the 
countenance, extreme emaciation, loss of strength, and 
general debility mark the effects of the constant drain 
upon the system. Thousands of young women continue 
to suffer in this way year after year, until their consti- 
tutions are almost hopelessly wrecked, being deterred 
by false notions of modesty or delicacy from consulting 
a proper medical adviser and finding relief. 

The observance of a few simple precautions, and the 
application of proper remedies, will very promptly check 
the unnatural loss in most of these cases. In the first 
place, absolute rest, chiefly in a supine position, must 
be observed, not only during the menstrual period, but 
for a few days previous to its commencement. If this 
does not restrain the flow, cool and even cold com- 
presses may be applied to the lower part of the abdomen 
and to the small of the back. In severe cases no harm 
will come from the use of an ice-compress, made by in- 
closing pounded ice between the folds of a towel. Great 
care must be taken to make the hands, arms, feet, and 
limbs thoroughly warm by the application of warm bot- 
tles and woolen blankets. These measures will scarcely 
fail to accomplish the desired end, if employed efficiently 
and judiciously. It may be well to add, just here, that 
the popular fear of using cold in such cases is ground- 


less. No harm can come so long as the extremities are 
kept warm, and the circulation well balanced. How- 
ever, the patient must not be allowed to become chilly. 
It is also of importance that the patient be kept men- 
tally quiet as well as physically so. 

Much good will result from these simple measures at 
the time of the period ; but a radical cure can only be 
effected by removing the cause of the difficulty. The 
patient's general health must be improved, and local 
congestion must be removed. This will be accomplished 
by attention to general hygiene, gentle exercise out-of- 
doors between the periods, abundance of good food, 
tonic baths and other necessary treatment if there is de- 
rangement of the digestive organs, and daily hip baths 
with a local douche. The hip bath should be taken in 
water of a temperature of 92° at the beginning, after 
five minutes lowering it five degrees. After five minutes 
more, it may be lowered a few degrees more. By taking 
a warm foot bath at 95° or 100° at the same time, quite 
a cool bath may be endured without chilling. The bath 
should be continued fifteen to thirty minutes, according 
to the strength of the patient. A shorter bath than this 
will do little good, as the sedative effect will not be ob- 

. The douche may be taken at the same time with the 
bath, or before, as is most convenient. The fountain or 
siphon syringe should be employed, and the water used 
should range from 105° to 120°, as best suits the sensa- 
tions of the patient. 

By these simple remedies alone we have successfully 
treated scores of cases of this sort. In some cases, other 
remedies may be required, and in nearly all, accessory 


remedies can be employed io advantage ; but the meas- 
ures described are the main features of the most success- 
ful mode of treatment. 

Hemorrhage from the Womb. — A profuse flow of 
blood from the womb, occurring at any other time than 
the menstrual period, is a hemorrhage, and not menstru- 
ation. The flow of blood is sometimes so profuse as to 
endanger life. It may usually be stopped by pressing 
into the vagina a sponge or mass of cotton soaked in 
vinegar. Meanwhile the patient should lie in bed with 
the feet elevated. 

Dysmenorrhoea. — This condition is that in which 
there is more or less pain and difficulty in connection 
with the menstrual process. The causes are various, as 
disease of the ovaries, congestion of the uterus, malfor- 
mation, and displacement or distortion of the organ. 
Some of these conditions require the attention of a skilled 
physician to remedy ; but all may be palliated more or 
less by simple measures of treatment which may be used 
at home. A warm sitz or hip bath just at the beginning 
of the period will often give almost magical relief. The 
application of fomentations over the lower part of the 
abdomen, and the corresponding portion of the spine, or 
of hot bags, bottles, etc., in the same localities, is a 
measure of great utility. The patient should be covered 
warm in bed, should keep quiet, and great care should 
be used to keep the extremities well warmed. The use 
of electricity is a very valuable aid in numerous cases, 
but this requires the services of a physician, who should 
always be employed in severe cases when within reach. 

In many cases of this form of disease, the suffering 
is so great that the constant dread of its periodical repe- 


tition becomes a source of great unhappiness, and casts 
a gloom over the life of an individual who would other- 
wise be happy. 

Ovarian Irritation. — The symptoms of this malady 
are tenderness in the groin, pain in walking or standing,, 
and more or less continuous dull pain, which is greatly 
aggravated at the menstrual period, the latter being gen- 
erally induced by a chill, which is quickly followed by a 
fever, resembling that present in inflammation of the 
ovaries. The most common causes of ovarian irritation 
are self-abuse, sexual excesses, improper dress, taking 
cold at the menstrual period, disappointment in love, 
abortion, constipation of the bowels, inflammation and 
displacement of the uterus, the opium habit, the use of 
"preventives." Cases of this sort require skillful med- 
ical care and management. 

Inflammation of the Ovaries,— The principal symp- 
toms are sudden pain in one or both groins, sometimes 
extending down the legs, frequently pain in the breast 
of the affected side, increase of pain during menstruation, 
with tenderness on pressure, pain in moving the bowels, 
general distress, nausea, more or less fever. The most 
common causes are taking cold during menstruation, me- 
chanical injury, anteflexion, or gonorrhoea. 

Cellulitis. — This is an inflammation of the cellular 
tissue about the womb. The symptoms are chills, 
accompanied by fever and pain across the pelvis, some- 
times nausea and vomiting, tenderness on pressure 
above the pubic bone, painful urination and defecation, 
profuse menstruation. Abscesses sometimes form, which 
may open externally, through the bowels, vagina, or 
bladder. Contractions of the uterus about the womb, 


causing displacement of the organ, are apt to follow this 
inflammation. The most common causes are childbirth, 
abortion, taking cold at the menstrual period, inflamma- 
tion of the uterus, the use of caustics upon the womb, 
gonorrhoea, pessaries, and sexual excesses. 

Prolapsus, or Falling of the Womb.— Of all forms 
of displacement of the womb, this is perhaps the most 
common. A woman suffering from prolapsus, complains 
of tenderness just above the pubes ; irritation of the 
bladder and rectum ; sense of fullness in the vagina ; 
dragging pain in the back, extending around the body, 
which, with the other symptoms, is aggravated by walk- 
ing or long standing upon the feet ; profuse or painful 
menstruation ; leucorrhoea. Sometimes local symptoms 
are entirely absent, all the unpleasant sensations being 
experienced elsewhere. Patients complain of a dull 
ache at the top of the head, nervousness and depression 
of spirits, constipation of the bowels, general debility. 
In very bad cases, the organ sometimes becomes so pro- 
lapsed that it protrudes from the body, a condition sub- 
jecting the patient to great suffering and inconvenience. 
In these instances, however, the patient may be relieved 
by a proper surgical operation, by means of which the 
organ is supported in a natural position. 

In most of these cases, as well as in other forms of 
displacement, the patient has usually worn pessaries of 
some sort for years, with the effect of ultimately increas- 
ing the gravity of the condition, and greatly adding to 
the difficulty of effecting a cure. The most common 
causes of falling of the womb are the wearing of heavy 
skirts suspended from the waist, dancing, taking cold at 
the menstrual period, self-abuse, lifting heavy weights, 


improper management at childbirth, tear in the neck of 
the womb or perineum, and in fact, local disease of any 
sort. Prolapsus is almost always attended by enlarge- 
ment of the womb. Even the worst cases of this disease 
are curable by proper management, though many women 
suffering from this trouble endure the tortures of irra- 
tional treatment at the hands of inexperienced and in- 
competent physicians, from the effects of which they 
may suffer for many years. 

Other Forms of Displacement.— Ante version, ante- 
flexion, retroversion, retroflexion, and the various other 
forms of displacement, are due to very much the same 
causes as those which give rise to prolapsus, and the 
symptoms are also very much the same. Backward 
displacements give rise to greater and more constant 
pain in the back ; while forward displacements produce 
greater pain in the lower part of the body in front, dis- 
turbed action of the bladder, and hence too frequent and 
painful urination, etc. Remarks made regarding the 
treatment of prolapsus, apply with equal force to these 
other forms of displacement. 

Prolapsus of the Ovaries.— The symptoms of this 
unfortunate and very serious condition are pain of a 
sickening character during movement of the bowels and 
in walking, and after standing on the feet for some 
time, starting in the groin and extending along the 
front of the thigh on the affected side ; painful connec- 
tion. On making an examination with the finger, the 
ovary can usually be felt as a round swelling on one 
side of the womb. Sometimes, in extreme cases, the 
ovary may be found behind the womb. The most com- 
mon causes are chronic congestion of the womb, prolap- 


6us, retroversion or retroflexion, inflammation of the 
ovaries, self-abuse and other sexual excesses, abortion, 
and the employment of means to prevent conception. 
This condition, though serious and often very persistent, 
is curable by persevering and skillful treatment. 

Rectocele. — This is a condition in which the posterior 
wall of the vagina is greatly relaxed and pulls forward, 
dragging with it, also, the anterior portion of the rectal 
wall. This forms a pouch in which the faeces sometimes 
accumulate, and into which they are pressed when 
attempting to move the bowels, making it necessary to 
press the parts back in order to secure a movement. 
The most frequent cause is a tear of the perineum at 
childbirth. Cases of this sort require a surgical opera- 
tion. We have found it necessary to perform this oper- 
ation in many cases, and have uniformly met with most 
happy results. 

Cystocele, or Prolapsus of the Bladder,— This is a 
condition somewhat similar to the preceding, only in- 
volving the front wall of the vagina, the back wall being 
dragged down to the vaginal wall, which forms a pouch 
bulging out at the vaginal entrance. The patient expe- 
riences difficulty in evacuating the bladder. In a case 
recently under the care of the author, the amount of 
prolapsus was so great that the urethra was doubled 
upon itself, so that the bladder could not be evacuated 
without pressing backward on the prolapsed portion with 
the hand. In consequence of the retention of urine, the 
bladder being seldom emptied, disease of the bladder is 
likely to be set up, with its many attending inconven- 
iences and often great suffering. 

The most common cause of this condition is prolapsus 


of the womb. It is frequently met with in its worst 
form in elderly women who also suffer with rectocele. 
In several cases which have come under the care of the 
author, the patients have been quite advanced in life, 
several years past the menopause, and the difficulty has 
been due to a tear in the perineum, followed by great 
relaxation of the vaginal walls. By means of a proper 
surgical operation, the difficulty is wholly curable ; but 
little can be done for its relief by home treatment, aside 
from the employment of hot vaginal douches and solu- 
tions of tannin and other astringents, which, of course, 
afford only temporary relief. 

Sterility. — In six cases out of seven in which mar- 
ried people are unable to beget children, the fault is 
with the wife. The most common causes in women are 
contraction of the canal of the womb, displacements, ca- 
tarrh of the womb, leucorrhcea, and profuse menstruation. 
Of the remote causes, sexual excesses, especially self- 
abuse, are the most potent. In occasional cases the 
womb or ovaries may be absent. Sometimes both of 
these organs are wanting. When this condition exists, 
a wise and experienced physician should be consulted, 
as in many cases the cause is of such a nature that it 
can be removed by proper treatment. 

Nymphomania. — This is a mental and nervous af- 
fection in which the patient is affected with uncontroll- 
able sexual desires, which frequently lead to the gross- 
est breaches of modesty. This humiliating disorder is 
most frequently the result of self-abuse, and allowing 
the mind to dwell without restriction upon lascivious 
thoughts. It is sometimes the result of ovarian irrita- 
tion, and is occasionally observed in various diseases of 
the brain. 35 


Hysterical Breast. — The breast is painful to the 
touch, and sometimes much swollen. The most fre- 
quent causes are disease of the womb and ovaries, self- 
abuse, and disorders of digestion. In one of the worst 
cases we ever met, in which the breasts were exceed- 
ingly sensitive and much swollen, the patient was 
greatly addicted to masturbation. The difficulty disap- 
peared almost immediately when the habit w T as discon- 

Painful Sitting. — The patient complains of pain 
when sitting down or when rising from a sitting pos- 
ture, at the extreme lower end of the spine. The affec- 
tion is most frequently found in diseased conditions of 
the ovaries, though it is sometimes the result of injuries 
received in childhood, or a fall in which the force of the 
blow was received upon the lower portion of the spine. 
The affection is curable, though in some cases a surgical 
operation is required. 

Dyspareunia, or Painful Connection. — This disor- 
der may arise from a great variety of causes. This is 
undoubtedly more frequent than is known to physicians, 
as women often suffer in this manner for years without 
making it known even to their husbands. The suffering 
may be the result of fissure of the vagina or rectum, ir- 
ritation of the bladder and urethra, vascular growths at 
the mouth of the urethra, or sensitive points about the 
mouth of the vagina. In some cases it seems to be a 
purely nervous affection. Nearly all cases are curable 
loy the adoption of appropriate means. 

Urethral Tumors.— The symptoms are smarting, 
burning, or cutting pain, during or after passing the 
urine. Sometimes the pain is constant. It is generally 


aggravated by sexual connection. It is often so extreme 
as to render the patient's existence a burden, and to in- 
duce great impairment of the general health, by the 
constant strain upon the nervous system. Local exam- 
ination usually reveals a swollen condition of the glands 
at the mouth of the urethra, which is red and often pre- 
ceded by a slight vascular growth looking some like a 
minute raspberry, very small in size. The author has 
met many cases of this sort, but has found the adoption 
of proper measures of treatment effective. If a tumor 
exists, it must be removed. The operation is not 

Bladder Disorders. — Various disorders of the bladder 
are accompanied by frequent or painful passage of urine. 
Retention of urine, and dull, aching pain after urination, 
are among the most common discomforts to which women 
are subject through local diseases. These are, in many 
cases, not due to disease of the bladder itself, but to 
some irritation of the womb or reflex irritation arising 
from disease of the ovaries. 

Constipation. — Perhaps the majority of women are 
more or less afflicted with constipation. This may be 
due to sedentary habits, as well as to the use of concen- 
trated food and irregularity in attention to the calls of 
nature. Most persons suffering in this way become 
more or less habituated to the use of laxatives of various 
sorts, the tendency of which is to aggravate the disorder, 
if long continued. 

Constipation is one of the most prolific causes of mis- 
placements, and of congestions and inflammations of the 
womb and ovaries, and frequently gives rise to very 
serious local troubles. When present, this condition 


is an adequate cause for anxiety, and should receive 
prompt attention. By regularity of habits, proper 
diet, and such other means as have been recommended 
elsewhere in this work, the affection is wholly curable. 

Chlorosis, or Green Sickness. — The chief character- 
istics of this disorder are the discoloration of the skin 
and absence of the menses. The condition occurs most 
frequently about the time of puberty, or just afterward. 
It is not due, as many suppose, to the suppression of the 
menses, but to a morbid condition of the system, which 
is itself the cause of deficient activity of the sexual or- 
gans. This disorder is not infrequently the result of 
self-abuse. The cause must be sought for and removed. 
When this is accomplished, nature will usually effect a 
cure within a short time. 

Lacerations at Childbirth. — The most common of 
all injuries received at childbirth are tears or lacerations 
of the neck of the womb, or the perineum. Thousands 
of women are suffering with the results of injuries of this 
sort, without being aware of their condition. Tears of 
the womb are often mistakenly treated as " ulcerations." 
The only way in which a radical cure can be effected is 
by a proper surgical operation, which in the hands of a 
skillful surgeon is attended by little pain, and is radically 
curative in its effects. In the treatment of some hun- 
dreds of cases of this sort by operation, we have never 
lost a patient, and the results have been in the highest 
degree satisfactory. The author does not indorse the 
views of some surgeons who hold that every laceration, 
however slight, requires an operation ; but believes where 
a tear exists of sufficient extent to give rise to constant 
irritation, the latter cannot be permanently removed by 


other means than an operation. This remark applies to 
injuries of the womb. In tears of the perineum, whether 
an operation is required or not depends upon the condi- 
tion of the vagina and the parts. If greatly relaxed, so 
that a rectocele exists, with prolapsus of the womb or 
ovaries, or both, an operation is required. 

Vesico- and Recto-Vaginal Fistulse,— In cases of 
difficult and prolonged childbirth, the septum between 
the rectum and vagina is sometimes injured to such an 
extent that a rupture occurs, and an opening is formed 
between the bladder and the rectum into the canal. 
This opening may be made to close up, in many instances, 
by frequent and prolonged vaginal injections with hot 
water ; but this measure is generally insufficient, and a 
permanent opening is formed, causing much inconvenience 
and suffering, sometimes producing a most loathsome, 
repulsive condition. The only cure for these cases 
is through a surgical operation, which can be performed 
without risk to life, and with little or no suffering on the 
part of the patient, by a surgeon who is skilled and 
experienced in this class of cases. There is no operation 
a surgeon is called upon to perform in which the results 
are more satisfactory than this. The gratitude of the 
patient for being rescued from the wretched condition in 
which she has been an object of mortification and disgust 
to herself, and almost completely ostracized from society, 
is unbounded. 

Tumors of the Womb. — The worst morbid growths 
to which the womb is subjected are polypus and fibroid 
tumors. Polypii seldom attain a large size. They are 
usually attached to some portion of the canal of the 
womb, sometimes by long, slender pedicles. In a case 


recently operated upon by the author, the tumor itself 
was not larger than a bean, but was attached by a pedi- 
cle nearly six inches in length. 

The proper treatment of these growths is removal. 
It is usually necessary to treat the point from which the 
tumor is taken by means of the galvanic cautery, chromic 
acid, or some other escharotic. 

Fibroid tumors frequently cause profuse hemorrhage 
from the womb. The menses gradually grow more fre- 
quent and profuse, until after a time the hemorrhage be- 
comes nearly continuous. This class of tumors can 
usually be removed only by means of a surgical opera- 
tion. Occasionally, however, when they develop on the 
inner surface of the womb, they are cast off by the efforts 
of nature, strangulation and sloughing taking place. The 
surgeon is sometimes able to remove fibroid tumors in 
this situation by the aid of special instruments devised 
for the purpose. Fibroids which occur before the change 
of life, usually shrink away and disappear after the 
period is passed. The proper management of these 
cases consists in the adoption of such measures as 
will prevent great loss of blood at the menstrual pe- 
riod, and keep under control the inflammatory processes 
which are likely to be set up. 

Cancer of the Womb,— This malady is in ninety-nine 
cases out of a hundred the result of a neglected tear of 
the neck of the womb. It is important that this fact be 
generally known, and it should impel persons suffering 
with a tear of this sort received at childbirth, to apply 
to a competent surgeon for the necessary operation. 
Cancer is most successfully treated by prevention. It 
is undoubtedly true, however, that in many cases the 


disease in its early stages may be long postponed, 
and sometimes entirely eradicated, by operation. The 
presence of this disease is indicated by local pain, a 
bloody and offensive discharge, great and rapid failure 
of the general health, disturbances of the digestion, etc. 
Death usually occurs within two years of its commence- 
ment. Its progress may, however, be greatly delayed by 
the use of appropriate medicines ; hence patients suffer- 
ing in this way should not be abandoned, but should re- 
ceive the attention of a skilled surgeon. 

Deficient Development of the Womb and Ovaries, 
— This condition is indicated by the failure of the men- 
strual period to make its appearance at the proper age, 
sometimes a masculine appearance of the patient, and 
frequently a slight growth of hair upon the upper lip. 
Cases of this sort require very skillful management, and 
should not be neglected. No good can be derived from 
the use of medicines of any sort, but such methods of 
treatment should be adopted as will improve the general 
nutrition, upon which the disorder depends. 

Ovarian Tumor. — This condition, sometimes known 
as ovarian dropsy, was formerly regarded as an utterly 
hopeless malady ; but it can be cured in a great majority 
of cases by removal of the diseased ovary, with the 
morbid growth which has developed. This operation, 
known as ovariotomy r , is one of the greatest triumphs of 
modern surgery. The cysts usually present in these 
cases sometimes attain enormous size. In one case 
operated upon by the author, the tumor weighed upwards 
of fifty pounds, while the total weight of the person 
after the operation was less than one hundred pounds. 
When the morbid growth becomes as large as it was in 


this case, the danger to life from the operation is greatly 
increased, not only by the great size, but by the inflam- 
mation excited by the enormous pressure to which the 
surrounding tissues are subjected, causing adhesion to 
the abdominal walls. It was formerly supposed that 
operation in these cases should be deferred until the 
tumor had acquired considerable size ; but it is now 
generally considered by the best practitioners that it 
should be performed at as early a date as possible, and 
patients managed in this way recover in a very large 
proportion of cases. In the great Samaritan Hospital of 
London, the eminent Spencer Wells has performed up- 
wards of one hundred and twenty such operations with- 
out a single death. 

Stricture of the Neck of the Womb.— Constriction 
of some portion of the neck of the womb is a not infre- 
quent condition. The constriction is usually located at 
the inner end of the canal, though it may occur at any 
point. The usual symptom is pain at the menstrual 
period, and catarrh is sometimes present in the latter 
condition, when produced by other causes. This malady 
may be remedied by the proper surgical operation. 

Floating Tumor. — A movable tumor, usually a little 
larger than the egg of a goose, sometimes exists in 
women who have borne children in rapid succession, 
especially women of small size who have borne very 
large children. It is usually found upon the right side, 
and by lying upon the back it may disappear, or be 
pressed up under the ribs, but falls down again as soon 
as the vertical position is assumed. The movable body 
consists of a kidney which, with its attachments, has 
become loosened from its usual position at the back of 


the abdominal cavity. Owing to this fact, the tumor is 
sometimes known as a floating kidney. A radical cure 
cannot be effected, either by surgical means or medical 
treatment, but great relief will be afforded the patient 
by the wearing of a proper abdominal supporter. 

Relaxed Abdomen. — The relaxed condition of the 
abdominal wall frequently present in women who have 
borne a number of children, and in which the abdominal 
walls have been greatly distended during pregnancy, is 
often not only a source of great inconvenience, but a 
cause of serious disease. The abdominal walls normally 
support themselves in position; but when thus distended, 
they allow the stomach and intestines to fall into the 
lower portion of the abdominal cavity, thus bringing 
pressure upon the pelvic organs, which in turn become 
displaced, and otherwise diseased. Tight-lacing or the 
wearing of heavy skirts suspended from the waist, and 
the wearing of corsets, are very common predisposing 
causes of this condition. 

Imperforate Hymen.— Through over-development, 
the hymen is sometimes imperforate, thus retaining the 
menstrual flow, and producing the appearance of delayed 
menstruation, when the function is really properly per- 
formed, the menstrual flow accumulating within the 
cavity of the womb or vagina. These cases of course 
require the services of a surgeon. A condition much 
more frequent than the foregoing is one in which the 
hymen, while not imperforate, is developed to such an 
extent that the vaginal orifice is nearly closed, and the 
membrane sufficiently firm and unyielding to present 
an obstacle to coitus, requiring the services of a surgeon, 
though occasioning no difficulty before marriage. 


Tumor of the Breast. — The most common tumors of 
the breast are fibrous/encysted growths. These growths 
are usually attended by more or less pain, but are not 
dangerous to life, and rarely if ever develop into cancer. 
Sometimes, however, they occasion so much distress that 
a surgical operation is necessary. This should always 
be performed when there is the slightest ground for be- 
lieving that it may be malignant in character. To Dr. 
T. Thomas, of New York, is due the credit of devising a 
method of operation by which these growths may be 
removed without disfigurement, even the slightest scar 
produced being completely hidden. 

Cancer of the Breast, — This formidable disease 
seems to be rapidly increasing in frequency, notwith- 
standing the great number of sure cures which have 
been so largely advertised during the last century. 
The symptoms of cancer of the breast are hard and pain- 
ful swelling in the breasts, causing, when somewhat 
advanced, retraction of the nipple. These growths are 
much more painful than those described under the head of 
" Tumor of the Breast." The proper treatment consists 
of thorough removal of the affected parts by operation. 
This method is wholly superior to any of the forms of 
plasters and caustics which are usually employed by the 
so-called cancer doctors. 

The efficacy of the methods employed by cancer 
doctors is greatly overestimated by the public, the ma- 
jority of the cases operated upon by them being growths 
of a simple character, which never would have done any 
harm if left alone, and would not have returned, what- 
ever method had been employed in their removal. 

Hysteria, — From the most remote ages of medical 


history, this disease has been regarded as intimately 
connected with morbid states of the female organs of 
generation, especially the uterus. That it is not ex- 
clusively produced by causes of this kind, is evidenced 
by the fact that men also sometimes suffer from this 
curious malady. The phases which it assumes are so 
numerous that we shall not attempt an accurate descrip- 
tion of it ; neither is this required, as there are few who 
are not familiar with its peculiar manifestations. It 
simulates almost every disease. Even consumption and 
other formidable maladies have been so completely simu- 
lated by this disorder as to deceive physicians of long" 
experience. We have met cases in which young ladies 
were supposed to be in the last stages of pulmonary dis- 
ease, were apparently gasping almost their last breath, 
panting, coughing, and experiencing the usual symptoms 
which accompany tuberculous disease of the lungs, when 
upon making a thorough physical examination of the 
chest, we could find no evidence of pulmonary disease. 
In one case we incurred the everlasting displeasure of a 
young lady by disclosing the real state of affairs ; but 
we were repaid by seeing an immediate disappearance of 
the symptoms, and complete recovery within six weeks, 
although the young woman had been considered hope- 
lessly ill by her friends and physician for six months, 
and was tenderly watched over, petted, and mourned by 
friends as one who must soon fall a victim to fell 

The foundation of this disease is almost always laid 
in some indiscretion by means of which disease of the 
uterus is induced. Not infrequently it is the result of 
eelf-abuse. The disease should not be regarded as a 


trivial matter, which is wholly the result of a diseased 
imagination, and requires only mental treatment, since 
it is a real malady, dependent upon morbid states of the 
system. It requires substantial and thorough treatment 
as much as rheumatism, dyspepsia, or any other of the 
numerous diseases to which humanity is subject. Per- 
sons suffering in this way usually have low vitality, a 
great loss of nerve tone, excessive irritability, and de- 
ficient will-power. They should be taught that by the 
exercise^of sufficient will-power, the peculiar manifesta- 
tions of the disease may be controlled. 

Diseases Peculiar to Ifen. 

F that quite numerous class of maladies which are 
peculiar to the male sex, by far the great majority 
are the result of some form of transgression of 
sexual law. The nature of these transgressions 
has been fully discussed in previous portions of this 
work, and what has already been said need not be 
reiterated here. The object of this chapter is to describe 
in greater detail than has been done in other portions of 
the work, the nature and symptoms of the various dis- 
eases of the male sexual organs. 

The intimate association of all the various important 
functions of the body through the means of reflex nerv- 
ous activity, lays the foundation for that profound and 
extensive influence upon the system at large which is 
observed to result from nearly all forms of sexual 
disease. It is, indeed, a common observation that local 
disorders so slight in character as to produce little or no 
inconvenience at the seat of disease, provoke, through 
morbid reflex influence, derangements in other portions 
of the body of the most serious and often most distress- 
ing character. Thus we not infrequently find, as the re- 
sult of a slight irritability of the prostatic urethra, nerv- 
ous debility, dyspepsia, emaciation, and a great variety 
of other marked and distressing symptoms. This fact 
emphasizes the importance of giving to this class of dis- 



orders careful and thorough attention. Quite frequently 
they are overlooked or neglected, even for years. Per- 
haps the patient, through ignorance, imagines the symp- 
toms which he observes, to be of little consequence, and 
thinks that they will pass away without special attention; 
or it may be that he is deterred by shame or false mod- 
esty from communicating the facts of his condition to 
his medical adviser, and thus a disorder which at the 
beginning might have been promptly corrected by the 
employment of the simplest measures, or perhaps would 
have required nothing more than a few words of good 
advice, by long continuance acquires a chronic form, and 
through the occurrence of tissue changes, becomes so 
thoroughly fixed that the most skillful and persevering 
treatment is necessary to effect its removal. 

The popular idea that time cures most diseases, is 
erroneous. The fact is, time does not cure. Nature 
oures, but time kills. Such acute maladies as active con- 
gestion, fevers, inflammations, and the like, pass through 
a regular cycle of changes, and by the unaided efforts of 
nature, will usually end in recovery. Chronic maladies, 
on the other hand, to which belong most sexual diseases, 
are of a different character. Chronic disease tends 
almost invariably to the production of changes in the 
tissues which serve to propagate and intensify the dis- 
order, thus leading farther and farther away from the 
standard of health. 

The difference between acute and chronic disorders 
has been very aptly compared to that between a straight 
line and a circle. One traveling a circle, sooner or later 
arrives at the starting-point. This is the course of an 
acute disease. One who travels in a straight line, is 


continually increasing the distance between himself and 
the starting-point. This is the course of a chronic dis- 
ease. We wish to protest against the popular fallacy 
referred to, which leads hundreds to delay giving proper 
attention to the morbid symptoms which they experience, 
until so grave a condition is reached that recovery is 

We do not wish to produce unnecessary alarm or 
anxiety on the part of any, and would discourage in the 
most emphatic manner that morbid seeking after symp- 
toms, dwelling upon and exaggerating every little devia- 
tion from the natural condition of the body, which is 
commonly met among those who are suffering with mal- 
adies of the class considered in this chapter. In conse- 
quence, thousands of those who are suffering with the 
slightest ailments, imagine themselves to be much worse 
than they are. Great harm is done by those who 
unscrupulously take advantage of the ignorance and 
inexperience of these sufferers, and thereby produce, not 
only unnecessary alarm and distress, but an actual 
aggravation of the slight disorders from which they are 

We cannot, in this chapter, consider the entire cate- 
gory of diseases to which men are peculiarly liable, but 
shall confine our remarks to those maladies which are of 
most common occurrence, and information concerning 
which will be likely to be of the greatest value. As has 
been previously stated, this work does not permit us to 
enter into the details of medical treatment which, in 
these disorders, may often be best left in the hands of a 
competent physician ; or when they may be chiefly ad- 
ministered by the patient himself, should be directed by 


one whose study and experience have fitted him to 
modify and adapt to each individual case the general 
principles of treatment which have been elsewhere laid 

The principal object in presenting this chapter nas 
been to thoroughly acquaint the reader with the signs of 
disease in the portions of the body considered, and the 
consequences of neglecting to give timely and thorough 
attention to these disorders before, by long continuance, 
they become difficult of eradication, if not wholly incur- 

Spermatorrhoea, — Used in its most general sense, 
this term applies to all forms of disease of the sexual 
organs accompanied by involuntary seminal losses. In 
a more technical sense, it relates only to a condition in 
which there is an unconscious escape of the seminal fluid 
connected with the passage of urine or movement of the 
bowels. It is in the latter sense that the term is here 
used. This disease is not so frequent as has been 
supposed by many ; and on the other hand, it is not so 
rare an affection as many medical writers have seemed 
to think. There are those who claim to believe that 
the disease occurs so infrequently that it is scarcely 
worthy to be considered a distinct disorder. After 
carefully investigating several hundred cases of diseases 
peculiar to men, we have come to believe that it is by 
no means so rare a disease as is generally supposed to 
be the case, having determined the presence of sperma- 
tozoa by microscopical examination in a large number of 
cases in which a discharge occurred after urinating or 
while straining at stool. 

Spnptoms. — The leading symptoms of true sperma- 


torrhoea are headache ; dullness of intellect ; loss of 
power to concentrate the mind ; defective memory ; 
occasionally, partial deafness ; roaring in the ears ; gid- 
diness ; spots before the eyes ; blurring of vision ; short 
breath ; sensation of weight or stricture in the chest ; 
various forms of dyspepsia, such as sour stomach, or 
heaviness at the stomach ; sleepiness after meals ; con- 
stipation of the bowels ; dry skin ; abnormal sensitive- 
ness of the skin ; crawling, tingling, and other peculiar 
sensations of the arms or legs ; twitching of the muscles ; 
pressure in the back of the head ; weakness of the eyes ; 
general stiffness in the muscles, and lack of muscular 
vigor ; back-ache, especially in the lower portion of the 
back, in the morning, or after muscular effort ; great de- 
pression of spirits ; melancholy ; sometimes a disposition 
to commit suicide ; insanity ; unsteadiness of gait ; severe 
pains in various parts of the body ; flushing of the face ; 
palpitation ; loss of flesh ; tenderness of the spine ; pain 
in one side ; impotence ; numbness, coldness, and other 
abnormal sensations of the sexual organs, which are 
likely to be in a relaxed and shrunken condition, and of 
a bluish color ; pain in the spermatic cord, and sometimes 
in the groin, and also at times a dragging pain in the 
testicles, which are sometimes tender ; smarting or burn- 
ing sensations when passing urine or afterward ; a 
troublesome dribbling after relieving the bladder; un- 
natural excitability of the parts; twitching of the 
muscles at the fork of the thighs ; frequent or involun- 
tary erections ; epilepsy ; paralysis ; symptoms of con- 
sumption. Lastly, as a symptom characteristic of this 
disease, we should mention the escape of a whitish fluid 
in greater or less quantities after passing urine or strain- 
ing at stool. 36 


In the majority of these cases there is to be found an 
exceedingly irritable condition of the prostatic urethra, 
and, indeed, not infrequently of the whole urethral canal. 
This may be discovered by passing the ringer into the 
rectum, and pressing against the prostate gland and the 
tissues just in front of it. In severe cases, a pressure 
upon the perineum and the under surface of the penis, 
close to the body, will show exquisite tenderness of 
these parts. An intense burning or smarting on passing 
urine is frequently present, indicating the same condi- 

It must not be supposed that all the above symptoms 
are present in any one case ; but a large majority will 
be found in well-pronounced cases of this disorder. 
Sometimes stricture may be present. 

Spermatorrhoea sometimes exists, not as a primary 
disease, but as a symptom of some other disorder. It is 
frequently present in extreme cases of nervous exhaus- 
tion, in convalescence from fever, the debility arising 
from pulmonary consumption, and in some cases of 
hemorrhoids or other forms of rectal disease. 

It has been suggested that the tendency to this dis- 
ease may be inherited. It is unquestionably true that 
some persons are much more liable to the disorder than 
those who do not possess the peculiar predisposing ex- 
citability which is so often present in this class of cases. 

False Spermatorrhoea.— It must not be supposed 
that true spermatorrhoea exists in every case in which a 
slight discharge is noticed when straining at stool or 
after urinating. Probably the majority of cases in 
which this symptom occurs, though requiring serious 
attention, do not properly belong in this category. A 


slight discharge of this kind is a very common result of 
an incompletely cured gonorrhoea or gleet. Not infre- 
quently, when a discharge of this kind has existed pre- 
viously, and has been apparently cured, excessive sexual 
indulgence, taking cold, a constipated condition of the 
bowels, or a concentrated and irritating condition of the 
urine, may cause it to reappear. The discharge usually 
indicates a diseased condition of the urethra, any portion 
of which may be affected, though the prostatic portion 
is by far the most likely to be the part diseased. In 
some cases, however, the difficulty is located in the ves- 
icula seminalis, the lining membrane of which, like other 
portions of the urethral and genital passages, is subject 
to catarrh as the result of cold, undue sexual excitement, 
or contiguous inflammation. 

Among the results of spermatorrhoea must be reck- 
oned the very worst of those physical and mental disas- 
ters which have been enumerated in previous portions 
of this work as resulting from self-abuse and other sexual 
excesses. A very common result, but one which has 
"been until quite recently overlooked, is stricture. This 
severe and painful disorder most commonly occurs as the 
result of the violent, acute inflammation of gonorrhoea, 
especially when prolonged in the form of gleet. In cases 
of spermatorrhoea, however, it appears to be the result 
of long-continued congestion and irritation of the mucous 
membrane of the urethral canal, resulting in changes in 
the mucous membrane, which sooner or later produce 
more or less narrowing of the parts, or stricture. The 
amount of stricture produced in this way is not often so 
great as to produce complete obstruction, and is quite 
likely to be overlooked ; but it may be quite sufficient 


to occasion a vast deal of suffering, and set up morbid 
processes in the bladder and other urinary passages, the 
result of which may be the worst possible. 

The possibility of the existence of this condition 
renders it important that every person suffering from 
this disease should consult a thoroughly skilled and com- 
petent physician, in order that the real state of his case 
may be ascertained. 

The causes of stricture are such as have been already 
enumerated in previous portions of this work. Self-abuse 
and excessive venery are unquestionably its prime 
causes ; and when these exist, no measures of treatment 
are effective, unless all the causes are removed. All 
the hygienic measures which have been enumerated 
else-where as essential to the successful treatment of the 
results of self-abuse, must be brought to bear in these 
cases. Whenever possible, the patient should place 
himself under the care of a conscientious and skillful 
physician. The weakened will-power and loss of moral 
tone which usually exist in these cases, render the 
services of a physician most important, as very few of 
those suffering in this way have sufficient self-command 
and decision of character to pursue, for any length of 
time, the rigid and systematic efforts necessary for the 
eradication of the effects of long-continued wrong doing. 

The opinion expressed by many physicians when 
called upon by patients suffering in this way, that the 
disease is one of little consequence, and probably does 
not exist at all, often leads to great mischief; and cer- 
tainly, when such an opinion is given without a close 
and critical investigation of the case, the patient may 
well doubt the individual's competence to deal with dis- 


orders of this class. Those who have had much to do 
with cases of this sort, have become thoroughly convinced, 
not only of their great frequency, but of the fact that their 
successful treatment requires the most painstaking ef- 
forts, and the exercise of the highest skill, not only in 
the selection and the application of remedial measures to 
the diseased parts, but in the education and discipline of 
the patient so as to secure his full co-operation in carry- 
ing out those measures of treatment and regimen else- 
where suggested, such as proper diet, exercise, absti- 
nence, etc., which are more important than any medic- 
inal remedies that can be employed. 

In the treatment of this disease, it should be thor- 
oughly understood that the danger to the system con- 
gists, not in the loss of seminal fluid, though unquestion- 
ably this is a serious drain upon the vital forces of 
patients suffering in this way, but in the nervous ex- 
haustion arising from reflex nervous action, which ulti- 
mately results in general debility and derangement of 
the whole system. The irritable condition of the dis- 
eased surfaces of those portions of the urethra usually 
affected, occasions a morbid irritability of the nerve cen- 
ters of the lower portion of the spine, which have charge 
of this part of the body, and from this the irritation is 
propagated to other portions of the central nervous sys- 
tem. It is by this means that the digestive organs, 
lungs, heart, and in fact every portion of the body, suf- 
fer, even in an extreme degree, as the result of this 
disorder. Such methods of special treatment should be 
employed as have been indicated in previous portions of 
this work, in which the subject has been discussed as 
fully as the character and scope of the volume will 


Seminal Weakness or Nocturnal Losses,— The 
great prevalence of masturbation among boys and youn«- 
men, and marital excesses among married men, has ren- 
dered the existence of genital weakness so common that 
many physicians have come to believe that the occur- 
rence of seminal losses during sleep is a perfectly normal 
condition, if not too frequently repeated. Extensive 
observation, however, has convinced the writer that this 
opinion is an error, and that in a man who is in perfect 
health, physically, mentally, and morally, such a thing as 
involuntary seminal losses will not occur, either sleeping 
or waking. 

This diseased condition, for such we consider it to be 
under all circumstances, is not solely the result of self- 
abuse, however, as it may arise from any form of sexual 
abuse, as has been pointed out in previous portions of 
this work. Unquestionably, the underlying cause of the 
disease consists in a great number of circumstances 
relating to diet, matters of regimen, social surroundings, 
etc., pertaining to our modern civilization, which are di- 
rectly calculated to stimulate the sexual propensities to 
abnormal activity. 

The occurrence of an emission during sleep, indicates 
excessive irritability and want of nerve tone on the part 
of the nerve centers controlling the sexual organs. In a 
state of health, the influence of the brain or the nervous 
system alone is not sufficient to produce seminal ejacu- 
lation, the natural stimulus of coitus or the abnormal one 
of masturbation being required to compel the receptacles 
of this most precious of all vital fluids to yield up their 
contents. When the controlling nerve centers have been 
weakened by disease, however, and still further weakened 


by the general lowering of nerve tone during sleep, 
even the slight stimulus of a passing dream may be suf- 
ficient to produce the involuntary actions by which the 
emission is occasioned. In many cases in which the 
disease has not reached this advanced stage, the emission 
does not occur during sleep except when conditions 
especially favoring it exist, such as the presence of un- 
digested food in the stomach, loaded bowels, a full blad- 
der, supine position, excessive heat from too much cov- 
ering, or some similar cause of abnormal sexual excite- 
ment. After the disease has made further advancement, 
however, causing an additional loss of tone on the part 
of the sexual centers, the circumstances mentioned, 
while still favoring the occurrence of the emissions, are 
not essential to provoke it, as it will often occur with 
most distressing frequency, even when all unfavorable 
conditions are carefully avoided. 

After the malady has made still further progress, 
the nerve centers become weakened to such a degree 
that the same involuntary discharge may occur through 
the excitement of impure thoughts, even while the 
patient is wide-awake. Another step in advance, and 
that most deplorable condition is reached in which sem- 
inal losses occur without erotic thoughts, and even 
without the slightest degree of sexual excitement of any 
sort, a condition known as spe?matorrhoea, or spermator- 
rhagia, which is considered under another head. 

Symptoms. — The leading symptoms of this disorder 
are pain in the lower portion of the back, various forms 
of headache, debility, pressure at the back of the head, 
fullness in the forehead with a general sense of oppres- 
sion in the head, confusion of thought, dullness of mind. 


want of mental or physical energy, mental abstraction, 
irritability of temper, nervousness, fickleness, morbid 
fears, melancholy, roaring and various sounds in the 
ears, specks before the eyes, tenderness of the eyeballs 
and sensitiveness of the eyes to light, dark rings under 
the eyes, muscular twitching, wandering pains in various 
parts of the body, numbness and other peculiar sensations 
in the arms and legs, symptoms of indigestion, constipa- 
tion of the bowels, sediment in the urine, irregularity of 
the urinary excretion as to quantity, great sexual excit- 
ability or sexual apathy, seminal losses occurring during 
sleep either with or without dreams, smarting and burn- 
ing of the urethra during or after urinating, dribbling 
after urination, sense of weight, pain, or uneasiness in 
the testicles, tenderness or dull pains in the perineum or 
fork of the thighs, and various other symptoms too nu- 
merous to mention. 

It should be stated, however, in this connection, that 
not infrequently the patient attributes to this disorder 
many symptoms which are wholly foreign to it, and 
which arise from other diseases that happen to be 
present with it. The patient is pretty certain to make 
close and frequent examinations of the sexual organs, 
and to notice the slightest deviations from what he con- 
siders to be the standard of health, as the result of 
which he not infrequently becomes unnecessarily alarmed, 
imagining that there is wasting of the parts, or other ab- 
normal conditions which do not really exist. This ten- 
dency is greatly encouraged by the quackish advertise- 
ments found in the newspapers and scattered about the 
country in lying circulars, sent out by mercenary char- 
latans, in which are to be found grossly exaggerated de- 


scriptions of the disease and its effects, which are well 
calculated to excite in the highest degree, ignorant and 
susceptible young men who may be suffering with any 
of the symptoms of this disease. 

A question of importance must not be overlooked in 
this connection : How frequently may emissions occur 
without occasioning injury ? As has been previously 
said, an emission is an indication of an abnormal condi- 
tion. However, the abnormality does not amount to 
what might properly be called a disease, when the 
occurrence is only occasional, and is not followed by any 
chronic general or local disturbance. When, however, 
•an emission occurs with only a few days interval, or 
when the occasional occurrence is followed by general 
discomfort and physical and mental depression or irrita- 
bility, or such local symptoms as smarting after urina- 
tion, dribbling after passing urine, etc., serious injury is 
being done, and the individual should consider it neces- 
sary to place himself under treatment. It may be said, 
in general, that the occurrence of an emission more often 
than once in three or four weeks is evidence that the 
morbid condition present is sufficiently serious to require 
medical attention. This statement will be met by the 
claim that plenty of cases may be cited in which losses 
liave occurred with much greater frequency than this, 
for long periods, without apparent injury ; but sooner or 
later other evidences of disease make their appearance. 
In all these cases, injurious results make their appearance 
sooner or later, if not in any other way, in the loss of 
sexual vigor and the occurrence of prostatic and other 
troubles which either do not occur at all in a healthy 
person, or are postponed to a late period of advanced 


In the treatment of many of these cases, we have 
invariably noticed as one of the first symptoms of im- 
provement that though the seminal losses still continued 
without great diminution in frequency, the patient no 
longer suffered the great depression of mind and body 
which had previously followed their occurrence. This is 
a sign of improvement in general nerve tone, by means 
of which the disorder will be ultimately controlled. 
This change in the advance of the disease toward 
health, is directly the reverse of that which occurs in 
the march of the disorder in the opposite direction. 
Patients may often imagine the emissions are doing no 
harm, though occurring with great frequency, simply 
because they do not feel any serious effects. But this is 
only because the general vital tone is sufficiently great 
to withstand for a time the exhausting drain upon the 
system ; but sooner or later, nervous bankruptcy will 
supervene, and the patient will appreciate his true 

As regards the treatment of this disorder, it is not nec- 
essary to repeat what has been said in previous portions 
of this book, and we cannot attempt to treat the subject 
in anything like a complete manner, not only because 
our space is limited, but because such a treatise would 
not be in conformity with the general character of this 
work. The following, however, is what almost any 
young man may do to aid himself in recovering from 
this disease, in addition to such measures as may be 
suggested by a competent physician who has been made 
thoroughly cognizant of the peculiarities of the case : — 
1. Diet. — Eat only plain and simple food. Avoid 
all highly seasoned and stimulating articles of food, such 


as sauces, pepper, pepper-sauce, mustard, and condi- 
ments generally. Also avoid eating too fast, overeating, 
and eating hearty and late suppers. Whole-grain prep- 
arations, such as oatmeal, graham mush, cracked wheat, 
graham bread, etc., should be freely used, together with 
ripe fruit. Meat should be taken sparingly ; and when 
there is considerable local excitability and irritation, it 
should be avoided altogether. All kinds of alcoholic 
liquors, including wine, beer, and hard cider, must be 
scrupulously avoided, also the use of tobacco in any 
form. Strong tea and coffee are highly injurious. The 
diet should be made abstemious. Better too little than 
too much. 

2. Exercise. — Plenty of exercise in the open air 
should be taken daily. When the employment is sed- 
entary, dumb-bells, Indian clubs, and other forms of 
gymnastics are of great value, and should be taken 
regularly. The amount of exercise taken each day 
should be equivalent to walking from six to fifteen 
miles, according to the strength. Vigorous walking is 
one of the best forms of exercise. It is not well, as a 
rule, to take a great amount of exercise before breakfast. 
Exercise may often be taken to advantage just before 
retiring at night. It is useful at this time as a means 
of securing a healthy fatigue, which will insure sound 
and refreshing sleep. 

3. Mental Conditions. — The mind should be controlled 
with the utmost rigor. Impure thoughts should not be 
harbored for a moment. The mind should not be occu- 
pied in the evening with anything of an exciting nature. 

4. Treatment. — Take a good, thorough sponge or full 
bath, using soap, and rubbing vigorously with a coarse 


towel, twice a week. Take a hip bath at 100° three 
times a week, just before retiring at night if convenient. 
Continue the bath about fifteen minutes. Hot and 
cold applications to the lower portion of the spine three 
or four times a week, will also be found beneficial ; and 
when there is great local excitability or smarting after 
urinating, hot applications may be made to the perineum 
with advantage, using a sponge wet in hot water. When 
the bowels are constipated, wear an abdominal bandage, 
which should be applied by means of a towel wet in 
cold water and wrung out as dry as possible. Wind it 
around the body, and cover with a flannel bandage long 
enough to go two or three times around the body. 
Change morning and night. After wearing one week, 
intermit during the day time. Knead and purcuss the 
bowels two or three times a day \ and if very obstinate, 
resort to the warm water enema, which can be most 
conveniently taken by means of a fountain or siphon 

Drink six or eight glasses of hot water in the course 
of the day. One hour before a meal, or two or three 
hours after, is the best time for taking the water. A 
glass or two may be taken with advantage just before 
retiring at night. If there is a tendency to atrophy or 
shrinkage of the parts, alternate sponging in hot and 
cold water daily for ten or fifteen minutes will be 
found beneficial. 

Diurnal Losses. — Under the head of diurnal em.ssions 
or losses are included every form of seminal discharge 
occurring involuntarily during the waking hours. These 
discharges are very diverse in character. They usually 
occur just before or just after the passage of urine, or 


when straining at stool. However, in the majority of 
cases, they are not seminal in character, though there 
may be an occasional loss of seminal fluid. This fact 
may be ascertained by placing a small portion of the 
discharge upon a slip of glass, and putting it in the 
hands of a good microscopist for examination. We have 
made many examinations of this kind, and while a trace 
of seminal fluid has been frequently found, we have 
been able to assure most of these patients that the dis- 
charge which they supposed to be seminal in character, 
and which had given rise to the gravest apprehensions, 
was really wholly of a catarrhal nature, and only signifi- 
cant as indicating a diseased condition of some portion 
of the urinary or genital passages. 

These discharges should not be looked upon, however, 
as insignificant, and not worthy of attention, as they are 
always indicative of disease. The nature of the disease 
presents as various forms as do the discharges them- 
selves. Several varieties are observed, which may be 
enumerated as follows : — 

1. The most common of all discharges of this kind is 
a clear, viscid secretion, much resembling the white of 
an egg, which escapes from the orifice of the urethra 
either before or after urination, or after an erection, fol- 
lowing some degree of sexual excitement. This dis- 
charge is from the small glands located in the prostatic 
urethra, and is a perfectly natural secretion. Too great 
an amount, however, indicates abnormal irritability of the 
membrane of the locality from which it comes, and hence 
is deserving of attention. 

2. An opaque mucous secretion which is formed in the 
seminal vesicles. This secretion may be either due to 


catarrh of the parts named, or may be a natural secretion 
squeezed out by the pressure of hardened feces in the 
act of moving the bowels. A similar discharge, noticed 
after urinating and after a movement of the bowels, may 
be the result of a chronic irritation or inflammation of 
some portion of the urethral canal, and in such a case 
requires thorough and careful treatment. 

3. Lastly, we mention a milky looking fluid, in 
quantity varying from one or two drops to half a tea- 
spoonful, escaping at the beginning or end of urination, 
which is found to contain a greater or less quantity of 

All discharges from the urethra are liable to contain 
spermatozoa in greater or less quantities, either as the 
result of a relaxed condition of the openings of the ejac- 
ulatory ducts, which allows the semen contained in the 
seminal vesicles to escape, or often as the result of con- 
stipation of the bowels, the seminal fluid being mechan- 
ically forced out of the seminal vesicles by the pressure 
of the hardened contents of the bowels. These dis- 
charges may occur with very great frequency, or only 
at long intervals. When of very infrequent occurrence, 
their significance is not very great; but when, as is 
sometimes the case, they occur daily, the condition 
should receive prompt attention. 

Sometimes the discharge of seminal fluid is backward 
into the bladder, and so mixed with the urine that atten- 
tion is not called to it, and the patient is wholly unaware 
of the mysterious disease which is undermining his 
health, and goes from one physician to another seeking 
to find the real cause of his malady and the proper rem- 
edy, but obtaining no relief. We have met a number of 


cases of this sort, in some of which the amount of sem- 
inal fluid lost in this way, and the constancy of the 
symptom, quite exceeded any conception which we had 
previously formed of cases of this sort. The only method 
of detecting these cases is for the physician to adopt as 
a routine practice the plan of making a careful micro- 
scopical examination of the urine in every case. 

All urethral discharges, of whatever character, should 
"be subjected to careful microscopical scrutiny, as by this 
means only, can their real character be determined. We 
have frequently found seminal fluid present when it was 
least suspected, and when the small quantity discharged 
was supposed to be simply a little urethral mucus or 
prostatic fluid. The significance of these discharges is 
not in proportion to the quantity. Even the very slight 
amount of discharge, if constantly present, is indicative 
of a morbid condition, which may in time give rise to the 
very worst results. When such a discharge accompanies 
seminal losses, or any other form of sexual weakness, it 
must certainly be removed before the accompanyiDg dif- 
ficulty can be entirely relieved. The sediment which 
appears in the urine, as a general thing, has nothing to 
do with the discharges. These sediments usually consist 
of phosphates or urates, though sometimes there is more 
or less mucus present. When this is the case, whitish 
threads will be observed to float upward from the mass 
collected at the bottom of the vessel. When the deposit 
consists of urates, the urine is clear when first passed, 
the sediment only appearing after the urine has cooled. 
Phosphates appear in the urine when first voided, often 
giving to it a milky appearance, the cause of which is 
likely to be attributed to the presence of a large quantity 


of seminal fluid. It is exceedingly rare, however, that 
spermatozoa are present in so great a quantity as to 
give the urine this appearance. 

The ordinary results of these emissions, when long 
continued, are the following : — 

1. The most constant of all the morbid conditions 
resulting from this discharge is a weakened condition of 
the organs affected. The functional activity of the sex- 
ual organs is perhaps more easily disturbed than is 
found to be the case with any other organ or system of 
organs in the body. This is the wise provision of nature 
for the protection of the rest of the body, which suffers 
more profoundly from excessive exercise of the sexual 
function than from any other form of abnormal functional 
activity. Hence, when great excesses of this sort are 
indulged in, nature kindly takes away the power for 
indulgence, and thus prevents that utter destru:tlon 
of the body which results from the continued exhaust- 
ing drain to which the system might otherwise be 
subjected. When diurnal emissions of any sort occur, 
the sexual organs are also seriously diseased, and mor- 
bid processes are at work which are very certain to result 
ultimately in serious loss of sexual vigor. Cases in 
which the discharge is distinctly of a seminal character, 
were formerly considered to be practically hopeless ; but 
by proper management, and with the aid of improved 
methods, these cases are known to be amenable to treat- 
ment, and it is probable that nearly all cases, if not every 
one, may be substantially cured by the adoption of the 
proper measures. 

2. General nervous debility is another of the most 
prominent results of these losses. This arises, not so 


much from the drain upon the system of the frequent 
discharge, but from the morbid reflex influence of the 
local irritation, which gives rise to the discharge. The 
patient is much given to melancholy, and sometimes 
approaches almost to the border-line of insanity in conse- 
quence of the mental distress arising from the knowl- 
edge of his real condition, or from apprehension of a 
condition more grave than that which really exists. 

3. Various diseases of the bladder and portions of 
the urinary passages are often present in these cases, and 
very frequent, difficult, or painful urination. Smarting 
or burning at the beginning of the act of urination is a 
very constant symptom, to which is usually added a 
persistent and annoying dribbling of urine after evacua- 
tion of the bladder. This is due to the relaxed and 
weakened condition of the muscles of the urethra, and 
their failure to contract promptly, so as to expel the last 
portion of the urine. A similar condition of relaxation 
affects the mouths of the ejaculatory ducts, which causes 
thcr.i to remain open, allowing the escape of seminal 

4. Dyspepsia in some one of its various forms is very 
frequently an accompaniment of this disorder, and is a 
direct cause of a great share of the debility and distress 
arising from it, which are usually attributed to the sem- 
inal losses, though not directly due to them. 

When a person discovers himself to be affected with 
discharges of this sort, he should consider the matter one 
deserving of immediate and careful attention until every 
vestige of the disease is removed. The penalty of 
neglecting to attend to the matter with promptness will 
usually be, in the most favorable cases, early loss of 



sexual vigor, and in the great majority of cases, some 
worse form of sexual disease, and all the various accom- 
panying symptoms which have been pointed out. The 
only methods of treatment which can be advantageously 
employed by the patient himself are such as have been 
already described as useful in other forms of sexual 

The question of marriage has been discussed else- 
where in this work ; but we cannot allow this opportunity 
to pass without reiterating the warning that a person 
suffering in this way should never think of marrying 
until the local disease has been substantially cured, as 
the deepest regret and intensification of suffering are 
almost certain to result when a contrary course is taken. 

Diseased Prostate. — One of the most common accom- 
paniments of the disease previously described, is some 
form of prostatic disorder. Perhaps the most common 
of these is irritable prostate, a disease in which the 
affected part is sensitive to pressure, as may be dis- 
covered by introducing the finger into the rectum, and 
pressing in the direction of the bladder. The irritability 
is sometimes so great as to occasion pain or uneasiness 
in sitting, there being constantly a dull, aching pain in 
the perineum, or fork of the thighs. This condition may 
be the result of chronic or acute inflammation, but most 
often results from sexual excesses of some form. In 
cases of nocturnal losses or spermatorrhoea, this condition 
is a frequent cause of the continuance and aggravation of 
the disorder, occasioning undue excitement of the parts, 
and weakening of the nerve centers which have control 
over these organs, lowering their tone, and thus engen- 
dering the very conditions upon which this disorder 


chiefly depends. Persons suffering in this way generally 
complain of smarting during or after the evacuation of 
the bladder. 

Acute Inflammation of the Prostate is generally the 
result of excessive sexual excitement, alcoholic indul- 
gence, extension of gonorrhoeal inflammation, or severe 
treatment of the urethra by means of irritating injec- 
tions, and the careless use of sounds. Exposure of the 
parts to dampness and cold, as in sitting upon the 
ground or a wet board, has occasioned the disease. 

The most common symptoms are a sensation of 
weight and fullness about the rectum and perineum, and 
an urgent desire to pass water, with uneasiness at the 
neck of the bladder. When the urine is passed, more or 
less pain is experienced at the close of the act. When 
the inflammation attains a high degree of intensity, the 
pain becomes throbbing and shooting in character. 
There is a sensation of great fullness and tenderness in 
the parts, also pain in the back when sitting. Great 
pain is experienced in the movement of the bowels, 
and in severe cases there may be obstruction of the 
urinary passages. The patient may suffer from chilli- 
ness, and generally has more or less fever. If the 
ringer is placed in the rectum, the prostate gland is 
found to be more or less swollen and throbbing. If the 
patient remains quiet in bed, the recovery is generally 
quite speedy, though the gland is often left in an irritable 
and enlarged condition, and is liable to the occurrence of 
similar attacks, or the continuance of the inflammation 
in a chronic form, in which the same symptoms are ex- 
perienced, though with a less degree of intensity. 
There is also more or less discharge, cloudiness of urine, 


and much difficulty and pain in passing the urine. 
Excessive exercise and the use of irritating foods aggra- 
vate the symptoms in the chronic as well as the acute 
form of the disease. 

Enlargement of the Prostate is usually the result of 
acute or chronic inflammation, though it is not infre- 
quently found in elderly persons and those who have 
been addicted to great excesses, without the occurrence 
of the acute form of the disease. Enlargement of the 
prostate is considered by some to be a necessary accom- 
paniment of old age ; but this is certainly not the case, 
though it is probable that fully one-third of all men who 
have attained the age of fifty years have more or less 
enlargement of the part. 

Many persons have a considerable degree of enlarge- 
ment of the prostate without being aware of the fact, 
the increase in size being so gradual that it is not 
observed until so great a degree of obstruction to the 
passage of urine is produced as to require a considerable 
degree of voluntary expulsive force. The size of the 
stream is not usually lessened, but the force is greatly 
diminished. The patient urinates with much greater 
frequency than usual, and as the disease advances, con- 
siderable irritability and discomfort in the rectum is oc- 
casioned by the frequent and violent straining efforts 
required to evacuate the bladder. After a time, the 
obstruction becomes so great that the bladder cannot be 
fully evacuated by any effort on the part of the patient. 
When it becomes greatly distended, a small quantity of 
urine may be forced out by violent efforts, and during 
sleep a sort of overflow occurs, which may be the first 
symptom to which the patient's attention is seriously 


directed. The retained urine decomposes, becoming 
alkaline, irritating the mucous membrane, and setting up 
a catarrh or inflammation of the bladder and a great 
variety of attendant disorders and inconveniences which, 
if neglected, may lead to fatal results. We have fre- 
quently met cases of this kind in which the bladder con- 
tained almost incredible quantities of urine which had 
probably been retained for weeks. In some cases, 
possibly the bladder had not been fully emptied for 

The very same measures which have elsewhere been 
recommended for local congestion, particularly hot sitz 
baths, hot fomentations to the lower portion of the spine 
and the perineum, are among the most useful measures 
in these cases. The same regimen as to diet should be 
followed as has been indicated for other sexual dis- 
orders, particularly the avoidance of all stimulating 
foods, tobacco, alcoholics, tea, coffee, etc. It is im- 
portant, however, that the patient should avoid violent 
exercise, and that total abstinence as regards sexual 
indulgence should be observed until the disease is thor- 
oughly cured. 

Stricture. — A contraction, or stricture, of any portion 
of the urethral canal is usually the result of the acute 
inflammation of gonorrhoea, or the chronic irritation 
and inflammation of gleet. All grades of stricture 
exist in different cases, from a very slight narrowing of 
the canal, to complete obstruction. The idea that a 
stricture does no harm if it does not very materially ob- 
struct the passage of urine, is a popular error which 
should be corrected. Any considerable degree of nar- 
rowing of the canal, whether sufficient to present a 


serious obstacle to the evacuation of the bladder or not, 
is a serious matter, and requires the attention of a 
competent surgeon. Such a contraction is usually suf- 
ficient to maintain a gleety discharge, and a chronic 
irritability which is likely to result in early loss of 
sexual vigor, or some other form of sexual disorder. 

Stricture is not always the result of gonorrhoea 
or acute inflammation of the urethra, but may, and fre- 
quently does, result from the practice of self-abuse, or 
may often be occasioned by a long continuance of noc- 
turnal emissions which may have been occasioned by 
mental incontinence, even when masturbation has never 
been practiced. The earliest symptoms of stricture are 
pain and smarting at some point of the urethra during 
or after the passage of urine, this part being usually the 
seat of the stricture ; a slight discharge ; frequent urina- 
tion ; the peculiar form of the stream of urine, which 
may be twisted, forked, divided, or squirting. Change 
in the form of the stream should not, however, be looked 
upon as a positive symptom of stricture, as it is not 
infrequently occasioned by swelling of the lips of the 
orifice of the urethra. Pain in the testicles and back, 
and irritation and protrusion of the rectum are frequent 
results of violent straining. Retention of the urine is 
also a frequent symptom. Sometimes, in consequence 
of retention of the urine, it becomes foul in the bladder, 
producing irritation of the mucous membrane, and sub- 
sequently catarrh of the bladder. In these cases, the 
mucus appears in the urine as a whitish deposit, shreds 
of which float through the urine. Blood is sometimes 
passed, especially in cases in which the catheter is fre- 
quently used. In advanced cases, the stricture becomes 


so close that the urine can be passed only in drops ; and 
after a while, constant dripping occurs, due to overflow- 
ing of the bladder, which the patient is unable to empty 
by voluntary effort. The bladder becomes greatly dis- 
tended, and sometimes nearly paralyzed. Great injury 
is occasionally done through rupture of the urethra, from 
the violent straining efforts of the patient. There is 
generally great impairment of the general health in 
these cases. The patient complains of various disorders 
of the digestive organs, great pain in the loins and back, 
chilliness, followed by fever, especially after the use of 
the catheter, which sometimes produces symptoms so 
serious as to give rise to what is known as urethral fever. 

The treatment of stricture is a matter which belongs 
exclusively to the skilled surgeon. The man who has 
any suspicion whatever that he is suffering with even a 
moderate degree of obstruction of the urethral canal, 
should at once seek skillful surgical advice. Sometimes 
the narrowing of the urethra may exist only at the ori- 
fice, and yet serious results may follow if the matter is 

Balanitis. — Persons who have a long and rather 
tight foreskin, frequently suffer from inflammation of 
the mucous membrane which covers the glans penis, or 
foreskin. The symptoms are severe burning or itching 
of the affected parts, frequently accompanied by violent 
erections and great sexual excitement. The foreskin is 
red and swollen, sometimes to a very great degree. A 
yellowish or whitish discharge of a very disagreeable 
odor is also present. The most common cause is neg- 
lect to keep the parts thoroughly cleansed. The only 
treatment required in the majority of cases is thorough 


cleansing of the parts three or four times a day with 
tepid water. If the disease persists, a slightly astrin- 
gent lotion may be applied, and if it is found impossible 
to prevent the disease by daily cleansing, a portion of 
the redundant prepuce should be removed by a surgeon. 

When cases of this sort are neglected, thickening 
and narrowing of the foreskin is frequently the result, 
and this is sometimes so great as to be an obstruction 
to the passage of urine. We have met cases in which 
the result was an adhesion of the foreskin to the glans 

Venereal Warts. — These morbid growths, which are 
usually found upon the edge of the glans or some por- 
tion of the foreskin, are not essentially different from 
the warty growths which are to be found upon other 
portions of the body. They may occur in chaste per- 
sons as well as those who have been addicted to vene- 
real excesses, though the latter are much more liable to 
suffer from this sometimes very obstinate disorder. 
The disease is thought by some to be contagious, but it 
is perhaps a question whether this point is fully estab- 
lished. These warts may be successfully treated by 
the employment of the same means as would be em- 
ployed in case of warts on any other part of the body. 

Phimosis. — This is a condition in which the fore- 
skin is so tight that it cannot readily be drawn back 
over the glans penis. In some cases, the orifice is so 
small that there is barely room for the passage of the 
stream of urine in the evacuation of the bladder. A 
person may be born with this condition, or it may be 
the result of long-continued inflammation or irritation. 
This matter is one which should receive attention, as the 


irritation arising from phimosis may occasion various 
sexual disorders, particularly nocturnal emissions, a dis- 
ease which is always aggravated by it, though orig- 
inally induced by other causes. 

As soon as discovered, this condition should be 
removed by the proper operation. It is rarely necessary 
to resort to the old method of circumcision, as the same 
results may be obtained by a less formidable and painful 

Paraphimosis. — This condition is one rarely met with 
except in cases of venereal disease, though some years 
ago we encountered a very severe case in the person of 
a little boy who was suffering from partial phimosis, and 
having accidentally drawn the prepuce over the glans, 
was unable to return it. In a short time, so great swell- 
ing occurred that sloughing of the parts was threatened, 
when his father brought him to us for relief. Persons 
suffering with paraphimosis should not incur the risk of 
an accident of this sort. When paraphimosis exists, a 
physician should be called, unless by careful manipula- 
tion of the parts they can be readily restored to their 
normal condition. 

Hydrocele. — This condition, sometimes incorrectly 
called dropsy of the testicle, consists in an excessive 
accumulation of natural secretion within one of the cov- 
erings of the testicle. The enlargement is usually pear- 
shaped, with the large end downward, and differs from 
hernia in its form, the tumor of hernia being larger at 
the upper instead of the lower part. When allowed 
to exist for years, hydrocele frequently causes a wasting 
of the testicle, and hence should receive attention as soon 
as it makes its appearance. It is not necessary to 


describe the methods of treatment required for this dis- 
order, as a competent surgeon should be consulted. 

Varicocele, — This condition consists of a varicose 
condition of the spermatic veins. It is a very frequent 
malady, probably one-tenth of all males being affected 
with it. In chronic cases, the disease is accompanied 
by more or less inflammation of the walls of the veins, 
causing thickening. The mass of veins sometimes attains 
an enormous size. Aside from the enlargement, the 
most common symptoms are pain in the testicle and 
groin, and a constant dragging sensation, especially when 
standing upon the feet, or engaged in active exercise. 
In many cases these symptoms are not present to such 
an extent as to occasion any inconvenience during the 
cold months, but are very troublesome during the 
warm season of the year. The disease may be occa- 
sioned by the same causes which produce a varicose 
condition of the lower extremities, such as long standing 
upon the feet, or excessive walking. A very common 
cause is straining at stool. The disease is probably most 
frequent in those who have been addicted to self-abuse 
and other sexual excesses, though it is by no means 
confined to this class. Varicocele occurs most frequently 
on the left side, which is probably due to the absence 
of valves in the left spermatic vein. 

The palliative treatment of this disorder consists in 
frequent bathing of the parts in cold water, and wearing 
a proper suspensory bandage to support the scrotum and 
its contents. The only radical method of cure consists 
in ligation of the spermatic veins. The old method of 
doing this operation was somewhat hazardous, and only 
justifiable in severe cases ; but the improved methods 


now used are free from danger, and may be performed 
without the aid of an anaesthetic, and without occasioning 
any great degree of pain. 

Impotence, — Almost the sole cause of impotence is 
sexual excess of some kind, and the disease is in a 
great number of cases the result of self-abuse and unnat- 
ural coitus. The first symptom of approaching impotence 
is too early ejaculation, which is soon followed by loss 
of sexual power. The primary cause of the disease is 
exhaustion of the nerve centers which control the sexual 
organs. In a great share of these cases, nocturnal losses, 
or true spermatorrhoea, is present with all the accompany- 
ing symptoms of this disorder, particularly an irritable 
condition of the urethra. The majority of cases of impo- 
tence which have not been seriously mistreated, may be 
relieved, if they have not existed for too great a length 
of time. In persons far advanced in years, who have 
become impotent through the natural decline of the vital 
powers, no measure of treatment can afford more than 
temporary relief. In young men who are suffering with 
complete or partial loss of sexual ability as the result of 
excesses, the disease can usually be cured by the adop- 
tion of proper methods in the hands of an experienced 
physician. The patient may employ advantageously 
the regimen and treatment suggested for seminal weak- 
ness, which will be found of great service in conjunction 
with any other measures of treatment that may be insti- 
tuted. We would warn persons suffering in this way 
against the use of aphrodisiac remedies, or sexual stimu- 
lants, as the ultimate results of such measures are the very 
worst possible, and no cases are so hopeless as those 
which have been mistreated in this way. 


Sterility. — Sterility is by most men supposed to be 
a disease confined almost exclusively to the other sex ; 
but careful researches have shown that when married 
couples are childless, the fault is with the husband in 
not less than one case out of six. Want of procreative 
power may be due to disease, or deficient development 
of the testicles, or entire absence of the organs. It 
may also arise from obstruction of some portion of the 
seminal ducts, from disease of the seminal fluid, catarrhal 
or bloody discharges from some portion of the urinary 
passages, too frequent sexual indulgence, seminal losses, 
catarrh of the prostate, absence of spermatozoa, con- 
sumption, syphilis, nervous debility, and diseases of the 
brain and kidneys. The management of diseases of this 
kind requires the greatest skill on the part of the phy- 
sician, and cannot be left to the patient himself, and 
hence few remarks concerning treatment are needed 
here. Many cases are incurable from their very nature ; 
but cases in which the sterility is the result of abnormal 
discharges, are cured by correcting the discharge. 

Gonorrhoea, — This disease, vulgarly known as clap, 
was until recently considered a specific disorder, but is 
now believed to be simply a catarrhal inflammation of 
the urethral mucous membrane, which may be originated 
by other causes than that of impure sexual connec- 
tion. Intemperance, excessive coitus, leucorrhoeal dis- 
charge, exposure of the perineum to cold, — all these 
and possibly other causes may give rise to a genuine 
gonorrhoeal inflammation. The disease is usually co